On March 5th, in honor of International Women's Day, there was a call to action on behalf of women and girls - who comprise the most impoverished demographic around the globe. Discrimination, marginalization, exploitation, and disempowerment are at the root of the problem.
While women produce two-thirds of the world's working hours, they only earn 10 per cent of the income. Two-thirds of the 876 million adults worldwide who are illiterate, are women. Expectant mothers die daily, from predominately preventable causes. Perhaps the most frightening fact is that at least one out of every three women and girls will be harshly beaten in her lifetime.
In an effort to rouse the global women's empowerment movement by connecting supporters in developed nations with women and girls who are destitute, a team of organizations and presenting partners rallied around the documentary " A Powerful Noise," showcased in a live event.
Executive Producer Sheila C. Johnson invited participation at 450 movie theatres around the country, where the film was screened. Simulcast at the end of the documentary, live from Hunter College in New York City, was a town hall discussion. The panel included: Madeline K. Albright, the first female Secretary of State in American history; Dr. Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE USA; Nicholas D. Kristof, advocating columnist for The New York Times; Christy Turlington, CARE's Advocate for Maternal Health; Natalie Portman, actress and activist.
NCM Fathom and CARE presented the evening, in collaboration with ONE and the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. CARE has programs in close to 70 countries where women are the target. Their efforts are based on the premise that "equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty." ONE has an online petition directing people to ask American leaders to allocate an additional one per cent of the national budget toward fighting global poverty.