Meryl Streep, Oprah, Angelina Jolie and more pay homage to incredible women leaders.
The 4th annual Women In The World summit, hosted by Newsweek and The Daily Beast, was something to see. The two-day event, held at NYC's Lincoln Center, showcased some of the most confident, courageous women leaders and activists from countries as varied at Syria, Pakistan and Myanmar, as well as right here in the states. Celebrities including Tom Hanks, Angelina Jolie and Oprah stepped out to honor these amazing women, who don't receive nearly as much fanfare as they deserve.
From Tom Hanks' emotional speech about Nora Ephron as the woman who truly "had it all" to teen activist Malala Yousafzai as honored by a humbled Angelina Jolie, the event put a spotlight on the incredible challenges and victories of women all across the globe — and the fearless female leaders who are quite literally risking their lives to make a difference.
1. "A call to action, a call to arms, to link arms. Inez McCormack, her great heart beats on in us." — Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep paid tribute to the late Inez McCormack, a women's activist from Northern Ireland who demanded equal pay for equal work — "that radical notion," Meryl quipped. Ever the performer, she even adopted an Irish brogue during part of her homage to McCormack, a personal friend of the star's who passed just 10 weeks before the summit.
2. "I told my dad, 'Not doing this work would kill me. Doing this work would keep me alive. Let me go.'" — Young Pakistani activist Khalida Brohi to Christiane Amanpour
Pakistani activist Khalida Brohi, founder and director of the Sughar Women Program, is devoted to ending tribal violence against women in Pakistan. In a video clip shown at the summit, Brohi confronts misogynistic village men who proudly proclaim that women who feel they have a right to education deserve "the bullet." How did she practice such patience in the face of hate? "I think I was patient over there, because I knew that these men would one day be working for me," Brohi proclaimed. Her confidence, passion and precocious intellect earned her a standing ovation from the Women In The World audience.
3. "They shot her at point-blank range in the head — and made her stronger." — Angelina Jolie, referring to Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani activist
Malala Yousafzai, 15, was shot in the head by the Taliban last year because of her insistence on her right to an education — and for the same rights for all the girls of Pakistan. Yousafzai once said, "I don't mind if I have to sit on the floor at school. All I want is an education, and I'm afraid of no one." A soft-spoken Jolie honored the teenager ("She is powerful but she is also a sweet, creative, loving little girl who wants to help others, to work for others. She doesn't want to be the center of attention. Her goal is progress not notoriety"), and she personally donated $200,000 to the Malala Fund, which promotes the education of girls in Pakistan.
4. "We need to make equal pay and equal opportunity for women and girls a reality, so women's rights are human rights once and for all." — Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton opened the second day of the Women In The World conference with a powerful speech reminding us that women's rights are still human rights —and talked about Malala Yousafzai's role in the battle for women's rights. Malala was a threat to the Taliban who shot her, said Clinton. "But fighting to give women and girls a fighting chance isn't a nice thing to-do. It isn’t some luxury that we get to when we have time on our hands to spend," she said. "This is a core imperative for every human being in every society. If we do not continue the campaign for women’s rights and opportunities, the world we want to live, the country we all love and cherish, will not be what it should be." Keep Reading ...