In commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day, influential figures across the world has urged world leaders to act on promises to end extreme poverty faster by investing in girls and women.

Top among the influential figures who have added their voices to the campaign are Oprah Winfrey, Muhammad Ali, D’Banj, Melinda Gates, Femi Kuti, Charlize Theron, Yemi Alade, Bono, and many others. Other numerous influential figures including Selmor Mtukudzi, Vanessa Mdee, Victoria Kimani, Amy Poehler, Danai Gurira, Angelique Kidjo, Shonda Rhimes, Jessie J, Colin Farrell and Robert Redford have also signed ONE’s open letter which shows the incredible strength of feeling across the global community for leaders to step up for girls and women everywhere.
New analysis in ONE’s 2016 Poverty is Sexist report ranks the toughest countries in which to be born a girl, with Republic of Niger topping the list, followed by Somalia and Mali. Compared to their brothers, girls here have less education, lack access to opportunities, such as opening a bank account, and are less likely to get paid work when they grow up. Sixteen of the 20 countries that top the list are found in Africa, making it imperative for African leaders to fast-track efforts in improving women’s development.
The ONE Campaign’s Poverty is Sexist report calls for policies that ensure legal equality for all and increased access to safe and reliable energy, which will particularly benefit girls and women. There must also be concerted efforts to connect everyone to the internet and further ensure that governments, businesses and civil society open up their own data so the public are able to see and account for progress towards achieving the Global Goals indicators.

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