An Afghan rapper. The founder of the first primary school for girls in a Kenyan village. A trailblazing member of Congress who fights to create an AIDS-free generation. An advocate for women's and children's rights and empowerment.
Tonight in Los Angeles, the Feminist Majority Foundation (publisher of Ms.) will award these four women with its 8th annual Global Women's Rights Awards, celebrating their hard-fought accomplishments for girls and women on the world stage.
The rapper--considered to be Afghanistan's first woman at the mic--is Soosan Firooz. Though facing death threats, she continues to use music to speak out against the injustices and violence faced by women and girls in Afghanistan. Through her performance and bravery, Soosan has brought attention to the need for peace-building in Afghanistan. Check out a video report on her.
The school founder is Kakenya Ntaiya, a tireless advocate for the education and empowerment of girls. The first woman in her Kenyan village of Enoosaen to leave and attend college in the U.S., she returned to her homeland in 2009 to establish The Kakenya Center for Excellence, which finally allowed girls in her village to attend primary school there. National Geographic has honored Kakenya as an Emerging Explorer and CNN named her one of its CNN Heroes. Check out her wonderful TEDX talk.
And the advocate for women's and children's human rights is Cheryl Saban, who was recently a member of the U.S. delegation to the 57th U.N. Commission on the Status of Women and was appointed by President Obama to be the U.S. representative to the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Saban--a psychologist, author and philanthropist--has just announced a groundbreaking partnership between UN Women and her Women's Self Worth Foundation to work for women's empowerment and gender equality.
We'll be live-tweeting from the event tonight @msmagazine under the hashtag #fmfgala. Join us for a discussion with these amazing women and FMF president Eleanor Smeal!
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
1/22/2015 BREAKING: House to Vote on Abortion Coverage Ban - After they were forced to scrap plans for a 20-week abortion ban, House Republican leaders decided late last night to instead ram through a vote today on a different extreme anti-abortion bill.
House Republicans are now pushing HR 7, a bill promoted as a ban on federal funding of abortion that would actually prevent women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care. . . .
1/22/2015 House Cancels Abortion Ban After GOP Congresswomen Drop Support - House Republicans cancelled plans to vote on a 20-week ban on abortion after Republican Congresswomen removed their names publicly as co-sponsors of the bill.
The vote on the unconstitutional 20-week ban had originally been scheduled for today, the anniversary of Roe v. . . .