Annie Lennox leads fight for equality

Annie Lennox hosted a night of live music to step up the call for equality and celebrate International Women's Day

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Annie Lennox was joined by Emeli Sande, Katy B and Jess Mills for a night of live music to promote the fight for equality.

EQUALS Live, part of Southbank Centre’s Women of the World Festival (WOW), saw Annie Lennox encourage young men and women to reclaim feminism for a new generation.

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She told Marie Claire: ‘I want to see a transformation and a re-evaluation of feminism. We have to realise the value of a woman in society.’

The Eurythmics singer paid tribute to activists all over the world who are working hard to create a more equal place for women and girls to exist, before being joined by Jess Mills, Katy B and Emeli Sande to sing the anthem ‘Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves’.

Jess, who previously worked for the charity Women and Health, spoke emotionally about the unforgivable government cuts to domestic violence services and the need to change gender views from the classroom.

‘I think even when we’re little we’re always saying: ‘Well girls can do that too.’ It’s almost like we are preconditioned to prove that we are equal to men.’

While talking about her Zambian father, Emeli Sande told us: ‘My dad’s always told me how important education is and it breaks my heart that, in some countries, your sex can determine whether or not you have a future.’

‘Many young people think gender inequality is a problem solved, but even here in the UK 42 per cent of young people know girls whose boyfriends have pressurised them into sex,’ says Helen Hector from EQUALS.

‘In poor countries women are still fighting for basic human rights like education, choosing who they marry or have sex with, and a say in decisions that affect their life.’

‘People think feminism is something that happened in history,’ says Lennox. ‘But if we don’t continue to make progress in the fight for justice and equality, the whole thing will be left on the back burner where it has been for the last few decades.’

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