Emeli Sandé and RAYE among stars set to join #March4Women

Singers join Helen Pankhurst, Bianca Jagger, Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, David Arnold, Nikita Gill, Himesh Patel, Nicola Coughlan, Jude Kelly and others at #March4Women rally at WOW - Women of the World Festival, followed by a march and rally in Parliament Square on International Women’s Day, in solidarity with women on the front lines of the climate crisis.

LONDON, 3 February 2020: Singers Emeli Sandé and RAYE will perform at this year’s #March4Women rally organised by charity CARE International, this year hosted by WOW Foundation’s 10th anniversary WOW Festival at the Southbank Centre. The annual gender equality march and outdoor rally will follow.

The award-winning musicians will perform as part of a musical line-up produced by celebrated composer David Arnold along with respected vocal group Urban Voices Collective and world’s best-selling quartet, Bond – with more names to be announced. The star-studded rally of artists and activists at the WOW Festival on Sunday 8th March will take place in the Royal Festival Hall ahead of a mass march starting over the river in Whitehall Place and ending with a closing rally in Parliament Square. This year’s #March4Women will shine a spotlight on the women on the front lines of the climate crisis, and call for action from world leaders.

Emeli Sandé said:

Music is a powerful way to bring people together and inspire thought, action and change. Much of my music has solidarity at its heart, and that’s what #March4Women is all about. The climate crisis affects every single one of us on our shared planet, but the poorest are enduring the worst of it – with women and girls disproportionately affected as they so often are when disasters strike. It’s time we step up and demand a fairer world. We’re way past the point where delaying is an option. We’ll march shoulder to shoulder with women around the world to demand gender justice and climate justice – I would urge everyone to join us.

RAYE said:

As a singer, it’s a joy to turn your talent towards a cause that’s vitally important and close to your heart. I’ve always been a proud feminist and I think it’s clear that climate change is the biggest challenge facing humanity – it is heart-breaking to know that the most devastating effects of the climate crisis are weighing most heavily on women and girls. I’ll be singing from the bottom of my heart at #March4Women – a wonderful, inclusive event where everybody is welcome.

The event will include powerful speeches from equality campaigner Helen Pankhurst, Bianca Jagger, Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu and poet Nikita Gill as well as climate experts, youth activists and women directly impacted by the climate emergency. There will also be appearances from actors including Himesh Patel (Yesterday) and Nicola Coughlan (Derry Girls) – with further names to be announced.

#March4Women takes place on International Women’s Day in advance of the UK hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow later this year. #March4Women will launch a feminist call to action on the government to make that summit count. Around the world, women and girls are hardest hit by the impacts of the climate emergency. #March4Women will demand that women and girls must be a central part of the response.

Ahead of COP 26 in November March4Women will call on all governments to make climate justice and gender justice happen with 4 key demands: 1) a rapid shift to net zero emissions, to limit global heating to 1.5°C; 2) women and youth to be front and centre of national climate plans; 3) more funding for climate responses around the world; 4) specific funding for women’s groups, feminist organisations and local women leaders.

Helen Pankhurst said:

This will be our ninth annual #March4Women – an opportunity for feminists of every age and gender to come together in solidarity for a fairer and more equal world… Expect powerful music, inspiring speeches and informative discussion highlighting the fact that climate justice cannot be achieved without gender justice.

Katherine Nightingale, CARE’s Head of Advocacy and Policy, said:

This year's march and rally will call for action on the double injustice of climate change and gender inequality. Around the world the burden of dealing with the impact of the climate catastrophe falls hardest on women and girls, as carers less able to run from floods or fires, living in the most at risk environments, given the worst areas to farm and the most informal and volatile jobs on the outskirts of the economy. Women and girls in emergencies are less likely to stay in school, get educated and more likely to be married earlier. And yet where they are speaking out women and girls are also the ones calling out injustices that have led us to this crisis point, and they are playing a critical role in building the resilience needed to respond.

Shola Mos-Shogbamimu said:

Our Resistance is Now. Be Visible. Be Active. Be A Revolution.

Bianca Jagger, President of Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, said:

We cannot face down the disasters unfolding across our world with half the population left on the sidelines. Women and girls must have a seat at the decision-making table. We cannot achieve climate justice without gender justice. We desperately need both. That’s why I will #March4Women this International Women’s Day.

#March4Women is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, who have raised £900,000 for CARE International’s work fighting poverty around the world. Callum Aitken, international development programmes advisor at People’s Postcode Lottery, said:

People’s Postcode Lottery exists to work towards a fairer world, and I’m really pleased that thanks to players we are able to support this important initiative by CARE. By bringing people together, the #March4Women highlights the climate crisis and gender inequality, as women and girls are hit the hardest by the climate emergency. #March4Women amplifies the voices of women and girls, particularly those on the frontline of the climate crisis.

#March4Women is a global solidarity movement which is taking place in around 50 countries.

2020 marks the 10th anniversary of WOW Festival. The festival celebrates women and girls, taking a frank look at what prevents them from achieving their potential, raising awareness globally of the issues they face, and discussing solutions together. It will take place over the 17 acre Southbank Centre site with hundreds of speakers across the weekend. Over the past 10 years WOW Festivals have reached more than two million people across six continents, from Baltimore to Brazil, Cardiff to Karachi.


Event details

The indoor #March4Women rally at the WOW festival will start at 12.00 and finish at 13.15pm. Tickets for the rally are on sale from the Southbank Centre website on https://careint.uk/rally. There is also an option for complimentary tickets for those for whom entry costs might be a barrier. WOW Festival takes place from 6-8 March.

Following the rally attendees will be guided over the river to Whitehall Place to the muster point for the march through Central London, which will finish with a closing rally in Parliament Square. For full details: www.careinternational.org.uk/march4women

Those not attending the indoor rally can join the march and enjoy a closing rally in Parliament Square at the end.

#March4Women’s partner organisations include People’s Postcode Lottery, Disasters Emergency Committee – DEC, Muslim Women’s Network, Women for Refugee Women, UN Women, Lean In, Centenary Action Group, Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, Nisa-Nashim, UNISON and the White Ribbon Campaign.

Previous years’ guests have included Annie Lennox, Helena Bonham Carter, David Tennant, Beverley Knight, Emeli Sandé, Sue Perkins, Leyla Hussein, Muzoon Almellehan, Michael Sheen and Melanie C.

Notes to Editors

Images from previous March4Women march and rallies: https://www.careimages.org/?c=7564&k=ad4f089244

For interview with Helen Pankhurst, Bianca Jagger, Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, Katherine Nightingale or David Arnold contact Jo Broughton broughton@careinternational.org / 02070916014

CARE’s key #March4Women demands in full:

1. Shift to net zero emissions – not as soon as possible but as soon as required to limit global heating to 1.5°C. Don’t say it isn’t realistic. Of course it won’t be easy, because we’ve left it so late. But it can be done. Make it happen.

2. Set new and ambitious national plans by September 2020 to respond to the climate crisis. Include women’s groups and young people, including girls, in the design of those plans and make gender justice – achieving gender equity and equality across all aspects of society – an integral part of those plans.

3. Significantly increase funding for gender-just climate resilience measures that support poor and vulnerable people in developing countries. That means climate resilience and adaptation measures must explicitly meet the needs of people of all genders, including women and girls, and at the same time address the gender and intersecting injustices that perpetuate inequality and poverty.

4. Ensure sustainable aid funding goes where it is most needed – to women and girls on the frontline of responding to the impacts of climate change and humanitarian crises. That means funding women’s groups, feminist organisations and local women leaders to lead on the design and delivery of measures to support families, households and communities to reduce carbon emissions, respond to emergencies they are already experiencing, and build resilient and sustainable lifestyles and livelihoods that reduce poverty and inequality, for everyone.

About CARE

CARE International works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice. We put women and girls in the centre because we know that we cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities. CARE currently works in 100 countries, helping millions of the world’s poorest people find routes out of poverty. We are there to provide life-saving assistance when disaster strikes, and to help people rebuild their lives afterwards. And we are there to work alongside poor people and communities on long-term programmes to deliver lasting change. Our programmes and our policy work tackle the underlying causes of poverty so that people can become self-sufficient. We place special focus on empowering women and girls because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to lift whole families and communities out of poverty.

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