13 Wednesday, May 2015

Strike a #strengthie pose

Some of Africa's most influential recording artists rock their #strengthies in solidarity with the Poverty is Sexist campaign. They include, from left, Victoria Kimani, Vanessa Mdee, Selmor Mtukudzi, Omotola, Arielle T, Waje, Gabriela and Judith Sephuma. ---Courtesy of ONE
Some of Africa’s most influential recording artists rock their #strengthies in solidarity with the Poverty is Sexist campaign. They include, from left, Victoria Kimani, Vanessa Mdee, Selmor Mtukudzi, Omotola, Arielle T, Waje, Gabriela and Judith Sephuma.
—Courtesy of ONE

Residents of the world’s poorest countries struggle daily for access to essential services: clean water, safe shelter, education, healthcare.

But that struggle is magnified for women and girls, who often lack the political clout, social standing, economic independence and even the most basic literacy skills of their male counterparts.

In short, poverty is sexist. That’s also the name of the campaign launched on International Women’s Day this year by ONE, a global advocacy organization pushing for an end to extreme poverty and preventable disease.

The Poverty is Sexist campaign, which highlights poverty’s disproportionate burden on women and urges world leaders to address that inequality, is inviting everyone with a social media account to stand #WithStrongGirls today, May 13, by posting a #strengthie—a photo of themselves striking the “Rosie the Riveter” strength pose from the iconic World War II-era poster.

Too Young to Wed founder Stephanie Sinclair brandishes her #strengthie to stand #WithStrongGirls today.
Too Young to Wed founder Stephanie Sinclair brandishes her #strengthie to stand #WithStrongGirls today.

Blanketing Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media accounts with the images is just the beginning. Campaign organizers plan to print them on billboards, post them at bus stops and even project them onto the buildings where world leaders meet, as a constant reminder that the world is watching—and urging them to adopt policies that empower women.

The campaign has also teamed up with some of Africa’s most influential performing artists to write and record a song, released today, expected to serve as a “rally cry” for the movement.

So clench your fist, raise your forearm and smile at the camera—and urge your friends to do the same, using the hashtags #WithStrongGirls, #Strengthie and #PovertyIsSexist.