Media advisory: Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality, celebratory commemoration brings together top political actors, celebrities

Hillary Clinton and Patricia Arquette among participants

Date: 04 March 2015

Media Contacts:

Oisika Chakrabarti, Ph: +1 646 781-4522; Email: oisika.chakrabarti[at]unwomen.org

Sharon Grobeisen, Ph: +1 646 781-4753; Email: sharon.grobeisen[at]unwomen.org

WHAT: UN Women’s celebratory event for the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, with musical performances, high-powered speakers and celebrities including President of Liberia Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Academy Award-winning actress Patricia Arquette, Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio, global philanthropist Melinda Gates, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and actor-director from India Farhan Akhtar, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and luminaries from politics, the arts, activism and philanthropy.

WHEN: 10 March 2015, 7.30 p.m., Manhattan Centre, Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 West 34th St., New York City.

WHO: WABC New York news anchor Sade Baderinwa will host the event, which will be kicked off by high-powered speakers. In a keynote speech, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, along with Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will emphasize the need for gender equality, calling on world leaders to do their part. Further speakers will include leading global philanthropist Melinda Gates and Oscar-winning actress Patricia Arquette. Bollywood superstar Farhan Akhtar will perform and call on men to commit to gender equality. With Beijing Conference stalwarts like Gertrube Mongella and Kamla Bhasin bringing an international perspective, a new generation of activists will inspire with hope for the future, including Yahir Zavaleta from Mexico, Aya Chebbi from Tunisia. [Longer list of participants below]

WHY: PLANET 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality will be the clarion call of the event which will take the audience through a 20-year journey of women’s rights, and look at the road ahead.  Leaders and celebrities from around the world will come together to celebrate the struggles, achievements and challenges of women and girls worldwide, galvanizing attention and appealing to governments to give gender inequality a firm expiration date, spotlighting that real progress requires 50-50.

The year 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the landmark Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Considered one of the most comprehensive blueprints on advancing women’s rights, the 1995 Beijing road map was adopted by 189 governments. Twenty years on, progress has been made, but not enough. Coinciding with the 59th Commission on the Status of Women at the UN, which will review progress since Beijing, the commemorative event at the Manhattan Centre will be a night of celebrating the achievements and bringing world attention to the gaps that remain, galvanizing momentum to join the global charge to “Step It Up” for gender equality.

INFORMATION FOR MEDIA: The event is open to the media but space is limited. Please RSVP to http://goo.gl/6tSwXB ; confirmation emails will be sent from UN Women closer to the event, with details on Manhattan Centre rules for media. [Please note, UN media accreditation is NOT required for this event]. For interviews with participants, see media contacts listed.

SOCIAL MEDIA INFORMATION: Follow the hashtag #Beijing20 and @UN_Women on Twitter. A social media package with content and visuals for International Women’s Day and the Beijing+20 campaign is available via dropbox here.

For more information on International Women’s Day, Beijing+20 and the Commission on the Status of Women, visit: http://www.unwomen.org/en

Some of the speakers and performers at the event will include:

  • Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia
  • Hillary Clinton, Former U.S. Secretary of State
  • Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director
  • Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO
  • Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City
  • Patricia Arquette, Academy Award-winner and actress
  • Farhan Akhtar, actor-director, singer, India
  • Gertrude Mongella, activist and first President of the Pan-African Parliament
  • Melinda Gates, philanthropist, Founder, Gates Foundation
  • Cheryl Saban, Ph.D., Founder of The Cheryl Saban Self-Worth Foundation for Women and Girls & Former U.S. Representative to the United Nations General Assembly
  • Angelica Fuentes, CEO, Omnilife-Angelissima-Chivas Group
  • Salle Yoo, General Counsel, Uber Technologies
  • Kamla Bhasin, stalwart of women’s rights, feminist-activist
  • Kathy Calvin, President and CEO, UN Foundation
  • Yahir Zavaleta, activist
  • Maysoon Zayid, American actress, comedian and writer
  • Geena Rocero, model and advocate
  • Aya Chebbi, youth activist, blogger
  • Les Nubians, Grammy-nominated duo
  • Melanie Fiona, R&B artist
  • Sade Baderinwa, Moderator for the event, News Anchor, WABC Channel 7