A week before International Women’s Day 30 female world leaders, including current and former heads of state, have signed an open letter to fight against the erosion of women’s rights worldwide. The letter calls for “the need to achieve full gender equality and empowerment of women across all ambits.”

“We attach our names to this open letter in the belief that by bringing together our voices and leveraging our experiences, as women leaders from a diverse background, we will amplify the reach and impact of our message,” the letter further reads. The woman leaders are calling for a global fight against the ruling of “macho-type strongmen” and their so-called “populist” movements.

Troubled by the rise of a number of autocratic, nationalist male politicians who have convinced voters that they aim to return their nations to a glorified past, more than two dozen female world leaders signed the open letter.

Susana Malcorra who served as Argentinian foreign minister from 2015 to 2017 said in some countries the push for women’s rights is seen as something that harmed men, rather than an opportunity to change gender expectations in a way that helps everyone. “There is a sense of the established power being threatened by women gaining respect,” she said.

Helen Clark, the former prime minister of New Zealand, and Irina Bokova, the Bulgarian politician and former Unesco director have joined Malcorra in launching the campaign, which included the release this open letter. Other female leaders to sign the letter include former executive secretary of the UN framework convention on climate change, Christiana Figueres, and former Irish president Mary Robinson.

“We have to be prepared to raise our concerns, otherwise we will be like the frog put into cold water which starts to warm up, and all of a sudden you find yourself in boiling water. We need to be very prepared to fight back.” – Susana Malcorra

Malcorra said that the pushback against women’s rights was “crystal clear” in several countries, especially in those countries where populism had led to the rise of “a macho-type strongman” leader, naming Brazil, the Philippines, Italy, and parts of eastern Europe.

Picture Credits: The Guardian

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Sonakshi Goel is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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