On the eve of new Global Goals that will set the development agenda for a generation, the cream of Africa’s musical stars are proud to announce the release of a brand new remix of Strong Girl, the contagious anthem for women’s empowerment that first got the world dancing in May this year.
The artists are calling on all governments — who are meeting at the United Nations General Assembly – to place women and girls at the centre of global and national development commitments in 2015. This year the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) come to an end, and from September 25th the new Global Goals for Sustainable Development will come into force. These new goals will set the agenda for development for a generation, and could see us be “the great generation to end extreme poverty” as Nelson Mandela once said.
There have already been some signs of progress, with the African Union (AU) Heads of State Declaration committing to address the fact that Poverty is Sexist earlier this year. Now this remix has the 14 stars singing in chorus to ask world leaders to do the same – and pledge to tackle the poverty of sexism which affects the entire planet – as they meet at the UN.
Actress Omotola, who supported the original version, the remix and stars in the music video said:
“This remix shows Strong Girl is a song to be played on repeat, because the message of lifting up girls and women cannot be played enough and is relevant across the globe. We know that in 18 nations men can legally stop wives working and in 46 there are no laws protecting women from domestic violence. To change this situation it is important to have men and women stand together to call for an end to the violations of women.”
Remixing Strong Girls with female and male artists not only amplifies the song’s powerful message that when you focus on women you help everyone – it shows that men and women must join forces to ensure that we have strong girls and women everywhere.
Strong Girl was originally written and recorded by Arielle T, Blessing, Gabriela, Judith Sephuma, Selmor Mtukudzi, Vanessa Mdee, Victoria Kimani, Waje and Yemi Alade in April, and released on May 13th.
The remix features D’Banj, Diamond, Banky W and was produced by Cobhams Asuquo, and keeps many elements of the original song. Bono, lead singer of U2 and co-founder of ONE, also appears on the track as backing vocals.
D’Banj, who appears on the remix, said:
“Being a part of this new version was an honour. It is important for me to use my music to help change the world, especially for those who need our voice the most. This remix is amazing – I want every one of my fans to dance to this tune, and dance for women’s empowerment and call for gender justice too!”.
This effort is part of ONE’s Poverty is Sexist campaign, which calls on world leaders to implement smart policies and targeted investments in the health, education and economic empowerment of women and girls can unleash their human, social, political and economic potential.
Women’s empowerment truly is an issue for the entire world, and is inextricably tied to the fight against extreme poverty. But when you empower girls and women, you give global growth and justice a turbo boost.
At the August press conference in Lagos announcing the remix, Bono, lead singer of U2 and co-founder of ONE, said:
“The women who sing it are extraordinary. What’s going on is way bigger than the song or any individual on it. It’s just extremely humbling to know that whilst men are part of the problem, they can be also part of the solution.”
The mix of 14 male and female stars, in partnership with ONE, recorded the new version to show that women’s empowerment is a song that everyone – men, boys, girls and women – must sing together to amplify Strong Girl’s powerful message that poverty is sexist.
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