Lily Cole And Arizona Muse Support The Women For Women Gala

Women For Women Directors Brita Fernandez Schmidt, Hikari Yokoyama and Alexandra Meyers tell us about the organisation's work.

Women For Women Directors Brita Fernandez Schmidt, Hikari Yokoyama and Alexandra Meyers tell us about the organisation’s work.

Guests including Lily Cole, Keira Knightley and Arizona Muse turned out at London’s Royal Opera House last night, to celebrate the achievements of women who have rebuilt their lives after suffering in conflict zones.

The annual Women For Women International Gala aims to raise awareness of (and much-needed funding for) some of the world’s most vulnerable women, as well as outlining the organisation’s future goals and initiatives.

“At a time when the international community has recognised it needs to do much more to prevent and respond to the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war, it was wonderful for Women for Women International to celebrate what women in countries affected by conflict achieve every day – rebuilding their lives and the lives of their children and communities,” Women For Women’s UK Executive Director Brita Fernandez Schmidt told us this morning.

“We so desperately need [more funds] to bring more women out of isolation and provide them with the skills they need to transform their lives.”

“I believe that women’s empowerment is the most important issue confronting the 21st century,” said Co-chair Hikari Yokoyama. “In many places, we forget that women are human and thus entitled to human rights including the right to participate in society – economically, politically and socially.”

“Hikari and I visited Kosovo recently to meet some of the women and graduates of the programme there,” Alexandra Meyers, Co-chair at the charity added. “The stories that the women shared with us of the ordeals and adversity that they have faced, along with the proof of the success and strength that they all gained from the Women for Women programme were truly inspirational. Meeting these women has forever changed us and given us new perspectives on hope, drive and feminine empowerment.”

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