Clean Water & Sanitation: 5 US Laws That Reinforce Period Taboos #JustSayPeriod #Menstruation #Period #MenstruationMatters #GlobalGoals #SDGs #ItsBloodyTime

Tampon taxes and substandard sex ed continue to prop up period taboos.


Across the US, millions of girls, women, and their allies across the gender spectrum have raised their voices and talked openly about their periods in an effort to destigmatize menstruation.

Their efforts have certainly paid off. Nationwide, cities and states continue to pass new laws that make pads, tampons, and other menstrual health products more accessible. In 2016, New York state passed a law to repeal the sales tax on pads and tampons. That same year, New York City became the first city to dispense period products for free inside public schools, homeless shelters, and other municipal facilities.

In 2017, the state of Illinois followed suit, making tampons and pads free inside public schools.

In addition to making it easier for women and girls to manage their periods, the new laws chip away at period taboos that too often fuel silence and shame around menstruation.

But they’re just the beginning.

Despite the massive movement to destigmatize menstruation, period injustices persist across the US. And nationwide, advocates are working hard to counter these five laws in particular that prop up period stigma.

1// No Safety Net Program Helps Women Who Literally Cannot Afford Tampons and Pads

The US provides a few safety net programs to assist poor women and low-income mothers in need of a hand-up. There’s the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program designed to help low-income families with young children afford food. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program — also known as food stamps — provides a small food allowance that helps people below a certain income level afford groceries.

Those programs certainly help uplift millions of women around the US, but neither one covers period products.

That’s a big deal for the lowest income Americans, especially those receiving public assistance benefits. In Mississippi, public assistance recipients receive as little as $170 per month — or just $2,040 per year.

At the same time, estimates that women spend about $61 a year on items to prevent free-bleeding. That means women who receive public assistance in Mississippi might have to devote 3% of their total income toward purchasing tampons, pads, and cups.

Fortunately, several cities and nonprofits have launched efforts to ensure that low-income girls and women, like those residing in New York City’s shelter system, can get the expensive period products they need.

2// State Prison Enforce Arbitrary Pad Limits

Until February, women in Arizona’s prison system could only access 12 sanitary pads per month — nowhere near what many women need when they have their period.

If inmates wanted more, they had to ask prison guards who often denied their requests. Arizona’s arbitrary pad-rationing provision forced women to ration the way they manage periods, “free bleed,” or rely on unsanitary, solutions. They were also unable to get tampons.

But the rules began to change when State Rep. Athena Salman introduced a measure to supply more pads and tampons to women in prison. She enlisted former inmates and women’s rights advocates to testify about their experiences before an all-male congressional committee. Their testimony had a big impact, inspiring the committee to unlock the bill for a full House vote.

But a few days later, the chairman of the state House of Representatives killed Salman’s bill.

His decision only served to fuel the movement to ensure women have access to the materials they need to manage their menstrual health. A passionate response by women across the US and the world motivated the Department of Corrections to change their guidelines regarding pad access.

As of mid-February, female prisoners can now access up to 36 pads per month. The new rule by the Department of Corrections is a good start, but several issues remain. The increased pad-ration has not been codified into state law— which means it can revert back to the 12-pad limit— and women still have to ask for permission to get more pads if needed.

3// The ‘Tampon Tax’ Treats Pads Like Luxury Items

Tampons, pads, and other menstrual health resources are essential to women’s health. And yet, the vast majority of US states treat period products like luxury items by slapping high sales taxes on them.

Across the country, food, prescription medications, and other items considered basic necessities are free from sales tax. But of the 45 states that impose sales taxes, only 7 — Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania— exempt pads and tampons.

“Basically we are being taxed for being women,” California lawmaker Cristina Garcia said when she introduced a bill to remove the tampon tax. “Women have no choice but to buy these products, so the economic effect is only felt by [women[ and women of color are particularly hard hit by this tax. You can’t just ignore your period, it’s not like you can just ignore the constant flow.”


4// Insufficient Reproductive Health Education Entrenches Period Myths

Most wealthy nations teach sex education and menstrual health early and often in order to counter myths and enable young people to better understand their bodies. In the Quebec province of Canada, for example, sex ed begins in kindergarten. And children in Ontario learn about consent by grade one.

But the US approaches sex ed much differently than its northern neighbors.

In fact, only 22 states mandate schools to teach reproductive health. Just 13 require that the information shared by health educators be “medically accurate.”

That means generations of young people across the US have not received complete and detailed information about their bodies in their schools. That early misinformation can fuel knowledge gaps later in life.

According to the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 64% of American women can’t identify the cervix in an image of reproductive organs, for example.

And a lack of information only serves to reinforce myths and stereotypes about menstrual health, especially among men who may — as Popular Science describes — consider their menstruating girlfriends as “crazy, demanding, or overly emotional.”

“Boys’ early learning about menstruation is haphazard,” wrote the authors of a 2011 study on period notions among adult men. “The mysterious nature of what happens to girls contributes to a gap in boys’ knowledge about female bodies and to some negative views about girls.”

5// What’s Inside Your Tampon?

Unlike laws pertaining to food, medications, and other items we put inside our bodies, no regulations compel tampon and pad manufacturers to disclose what chemicals and materials are inside their products.

In 2016, Congresswoman Grace Meng from New York introduced a bill known as the Menstrual Products Right to Know Act, which would force manufacturers to disclose ingredients in tampons, pads, and menstrual cups on the packaging.

“We want women to be able to know what chemicals are in these products, which come in direct contact with our bodies,” Meng told the New York Times.

Meng’s bill has stalled, but activists across the US have stepped up their efforts to demand information and, in the process, break the silence that fuels period stigma.

“[Periods are] something that happens to almost half of the population,” Lola cofounder Jordana Kier told Vogue. “This isn’t something that we should be embarrassed [to discuss]. Women should be empowered to make informed decisions about their bodies.

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Women & Girls: “Focus MENSTRUATION” This Transgender Man Is the World’s First to Front a Campaign About Periods “I’m On” #ImOn #Trans #Lgbtq #transgender #menstruation #trans

Kenny Jones is making history — and beating the stigma of periods.


Over a third of British adults still see periods as a taboo subject, according to research released to mark the launch of a brand new campaign to beat the stigma.

And the campaign is really hitting headlines, as it is the world’s first campaign about periods to be fronted by a man.

Transgender model Kenny Jones, from north-west London, has been announced as the face of the “I’m on” campaign — to launch a range of T-shirts and sweatshirts based around periods. 

The 23-year-old appears alongside British fashion designer Olivia Rubin, activist and influencer Natalie Lee, and journalists and podcast hosts Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton — who are all speaking up to say it’s not shameful to be on your period.

Jones, previously named Kelsey, came out as transgender at 14, and at 16 he changed his name and shaved his head. But he’s part of the campaign to raise awareness around the struggle that periods can present when you’re transitioning.

It wasn’t until he started taking hormone blockers at 17 that he stopped having periods.

“During my transition I did have to deal with experiencing periods each month and many of the negative stereotypes that can come along with it,” said Jones. “Assuming periods are inhibiting to people tends to perpetuate period shame even more, and makes people even more reluctant to talk about them.”

“I always found the fact that no one seemed to openly talk about periods quite difficult and made me want to hide mine even more,” he said. “We need to encourage everyone to talk about periods, whether they experience them directly or not.”

He added: “Sparking conversation is the first step to normalising periods within society.”

Research carried out by period subscription service Pink Parcel , which is also behind the campaign, found that 34% of British adults see periods as taboo; while 25% have experienced feelings of shame or embarrassment about being on their period.

What’s more, some 50% of British adults have never spoken to their partners about periods, and 44% even avoid the subject with friends.

And speaking up about periods can be even harder, and even more stigmatised, for the trans community — with just 8% of period-related content online discussing the experience of periods from a transgender perspective, according to Pink Parcel.

Kenny told the MailOnline that he had never discussed periods with another trans man, “and it’s quite weird to think that considering it’s a normal thing to go through at the end of the day.”

“It should be put in a positive light and say it’s okay to talk about things,” he said. “It’s just a natural part of who we are, a normal body function.”


People featuring in the campaign are pictured wearing T-shirts with slogans about periods — like “I’m on. Period” and “I’m on it.”

Even better, £5 from the sale of each T-shirt will the donated to the charity Bloody Good Period, which works to ensure refugees and asylum-seekers have access to sanitary products — helping support the UK’s efforts to end period poverty. 

Women + Girls: Top Ten 10 Myths About Periods! #Menstruation LET’S TALK! #ItsBloodyTime #PressForProgress #TimeIsNow #MenstruationMatters

It’s ok to wear white! But it’s not ok to feel shame about your period.


Menstruation Matter

Would you believe that some people pay to have their hair ripped off their body? Or that some women buy sharp metal blades and slide them along their legs to remove hair each morning? What if I told you women pay others to cover their fingernails in different colors, with paint containing toxic chemicals like formaldehyde? These things sound crazy when put this way. But, waxing, shaving, and painting nails are considered totally normal, even daily, practices for women in American culture and elsewhere.

Social and cultural norms create some pretty bizarre trends. The aforementioned trends are beauty related, but there are various cultural perceptions all over the world when it comes to women’s periods. Some cultural beliefs regarding periods are not just weird. They can also bar women from education, jobs, and overall equality.


Here are 10 myths about menstruation that still exist in the world today.


1. Sharks Will Attack Women on Their Periods


While women may be “riding the crimson tide,” there’s no need to worry about shark attacks if a woman wants to actually go in the ocean.  There’s no data to support menstruation attracts sharks. So for everyone (guys and girls) out there thinking menstruation attracts sharks, think again before you blame periods.

2. Women Will Contaminate Food


woman cooking

In parts of rural India, there is a myth that women cannot water plants or cook during their period because their “uncleanliness” will spoil the food. In a study done in a random school in rural India, 55 percent of girls surveyed believed they could not cook or enter the kitchen during and 4 days after menstruation or food would sour. While I’m all for more boys and men taking on household chores so that girls in India can get an education, this myth doesn’t help with that.

3. Showering Will Cause Infertility  

In Afghanistan, the word “gazag” means to become infertile. It’s said (in old Afghan tradition) that during the week a woman has her period she cannot wash or shower or she will gazag. You’re probably thinking this is gross. It is. And it’s more than that–it’s a major risk for infection.  

In many places, including Afghanistan, it’s common for women to use cloth sanitary napkins. The benefit here is that it’s relatively inexpensive and a renewable way to manage periods. The downside is women are often ashamed to hang clean cloth used during menstruation outside with other laundry. So women hide and wear sanitary napkins for too long which causes infections deadly to reproductive health. This can all be fixed if social taboos over periods are eliminated.

4. Periods Are Debilitating For Women


Imagine someone telling you to miss work every month even if you don’t feel sick. Menstrual leave is a thing, and this one is more controversial than some others. Several countries in Asia, like South Korea, China, Japan, and Indonesia have laws providing women sick leave during their period. The debate here is whether menstrual leave for women is a form of discrimination or a medical necessity.

Periods taboos are more debilitating than anything menstrual cycles themselves. Lack of access to sanitary napkins, and knowledge on managing periods for girls and women is debilitating. But, periods themselves are rarely a cause for necessary sick leave.

Yes, every woman experiences menstrual cycles differently, but only 20 percent of women report severe pain during periods. The other 80% of women reported no debilitating symptoms or pain. With the proper supplies and knowledge on how to manage periods, girls and women can be empowered to accomplish any task any time of the month.


5. Girls Cannot Participate in Class


Indian Girl addressing crowd

The chaupadi tradition is a practice in rural parts of Nepal where women are literally put in isolation during their period. Again the reason stems back to “being unclean.” Women cannot be in classrooms with other students while menstruating.

The myth goes back to the belief that a woman’s uncleanliness will anger Hindu goddesses. Dispelling myths like chaupadi where 16 percent of women in Nepal are forced from their homes into isolation is a task that will take effort, education and awareness.

6. Women Can’t Prepare Sushi


According to a cultural belief held by some sushi chefs in Japan, such as Jiro Ono–a famous sushi chef with restaurants in Tokyo, Ginza, and Chūō, women cannot be sushi chefs because of menstrual cycles. The myth here is that menstruation causes an “imbalance in taste” and therefore sushi cannot possibly be properly prepared by a woman. Side note: male sushi chefs also think women’s hands are too small and warm to prepare rice properly.

Fortunately women like Niki Nakayama defy stereotypes and period taboos by mastering the art of sushi. Women deserve to pursue any career.

7. Women Can’t Enter Holy Temples


This myth exists in parts of the world ranging from Bali and India to Nepal. Women are believed to be “unclean” while menstruating and are thus not allowed to enter “clean” and holy places like temples. This is a form of gender inequality that limits women from the same human rights like freedom to practice religion that men have access to.

Girls and women menstruating are not unclean. They are normal, natural, and healthy. The myth that women cannot enter temples and holy ground is culturally controversial, and a sensitive issue. When women are treated differently because of a naturally occurring body cycle it creates shame, taboos, and humiliation towards periods that is deeply embedded into society. And that is the only thing that’s ridiculous.

8. Women Have “Cooties” That Make Men “Sick”


In India and parts of Nepal (in alignment with the chaupadi tradition in Nepal). Myth number eight says that women cannot interact with or touch men because men will become sick by touching an “unclean” woman. Some 20% of girls in rural India believe they should not talk to a male member of the family during menstruation.

And 40% of girls in India learn about menstruation from their mothers. So, if external education is not provided these traditions will persist.

9. Menstruation Is a Disease in Iran


Longstanding stigmatization in Iran has caused a staggering 48% of girls to believe that menstruation is a disease, according to a UNICEF study.

But there is hope.

A 2012 study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information revealed that when young Iranian girls were given menstrual education, more than half of them started bathing when they had their periods, while others busted the erroneous misconception.

10. Pads Need To Be Kept Unseen and Apart From Other Trash, or Could Lead To Cancer



Traditional beliefs in Bolivia misinform young women and girls that the disposal of their menstrual pads with other garbage could lead to sickness or cancer, according to UNICEF. Because there’s still so much humiliation around the topic, many are told to keep their pads far away from the rest of the trash and are often led to collecting them in their bags during the school day until they get home.

The organization investigated 10 schools in Bolivia and identified that the two main challenges menstruating girls face include feelings of shame and limited access to private bathrooms. For this reason, UNICEF has implemented a massive menstrual education program in hopes of increasing access to proper menstrual products and sanitation facilities.

The bottom line is period taboos are not only crazy and ridiculous but they are a huge obstacle holding women back in many ways. It’s hard to believe these myths still exist all over the world today. But they do, and they need to be busted.

Awareness and education, especially for people in rural and developing countries, is necessary to empower girls and women everywhere. Together we can create a better world where girls believe periods are powerful not shameful.

The good news is there are people making a difference each day when it comes to eliminating period taboos. Arunachalam Muruganantham is a man in India who’s not afraid of social taboos. His own family ostracized him when he created a sanitary pad that cost $0.04 (USD). Arunachalam is just one of plenty of other men helping end period taboos.

Good Health/Well-Being: Why This Company is Giving Away 60 Million Sanitary Pads+Tampons in March “HELP A GIRL OUT” #HelpAGirlOut #SDGs #GlobalGoals #Sanitation

“A period should only end a sentence – and not be the end to education or opportunity,” L. says.


As a photojournalist for the Red Cross and the United Nations, Talia Frenkel traveled the world documenting humanitarian crises, but everything changed after an assignment in sub-Saharan Africa.

After witnessing girls’ and women’s lack of access to reproductive rights and menstrual hygiene management products, Frenkel retired her camera in favor of a new mission: shaking up the women’s health industry.

So she founded L., a company that started out making condoms and now also makes organic cotton tampons and pads, with the goal of empowering women.

And in honor of Women’s History Month, L. is donating 60 million period products to girls in need, Teen Vogue reported.

L. already operates on a one-for-one model: for every condom, pad, and tampon that the company sells it distributes one in a developing country through its network of female entrepreneurs, according to the company’s website

Frenkel started her company to help protect women and girls against HIV/AIDS and unplanned pregnancies.

“The fact that 90% of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa go through condom stock-outs [when stores run out of condoms] and that the one tool of prevention isn’t being made available to the people who really need it most was really a turning point for me,” Frenkel told Refinery29.

By providing girls in particular with such resources, she also hoped to help them stay in school, but to do that she had to do more than help increase access to condoms.

UNESCO estimates that 1 in 10 girls in sub-Saharan Africa miss school during their periods. And social stigma associated with menstruation keeps women and girls around the world from participating in everyday activities.

In Nepal, girls have died while confined in “period huts” during a cultural practice called “chaupadi,” though the practice is illegal. One study found that in the US, nearly 75% of women hide their pads and tampons when going to the bathroom to change them.

“It’s clear that we are long overdue in addressing the deep-rooted stigma around ‘that time of the month.’ Periods need to be normalized, because that’s exactly what they are — normal,” Frenkel told Teen Vogue. “When we stop shaming women and girls for the natural and universal cycles of their bodies, we make room for educational, economic, and social opportunities,” she said.

And a crucial aspect to making sure girls and women can seize those opportunities is making sure they have the resources they need to manage their periods.

“Menstrual equity is about access,” Frenkel said. “Access to a safe, affordable necessity that the average woman will use more than 10,000 times in her life. It’s really that simple,” she added.

But L. doesn’t just hand out free condoms and period products, it also provides much-needed education and other resources to address key concerns in the areas in which L. has a presence. In India, L. helps to generate economic opportunities for women by donating machines so women can make pads. In Kenya and Tanzania — both home to around 1.5 million people living with HIV — L. offers sexual reproductive health, menstrual health, and STD and HIV prevention education as well as period products.

By doing so, L. hopes to empower women in these communities to become agents of change.

“At L., we believe that a period should only end a sentence — and not be the end to education or opportunity,” the company’s site proudly states.

Clean Water And Sanitation: 42% of US Women Have Been Period-Shamed & 29% Won’t Do This Activity. MENSTRUATION MATTERS #ItsBloodyTime

A survey conducted by Thinx revealed just how pervasive period shame is in the US.


Here’s a stat to get your blood boiling: 42% of US women say they have experienced period-shaming by men.

A survey of 1,500 US women commissioned by “period-proof underwear” manufacturer Thinx revealed that nearly 60% of women feel embarrassed when they menstruate, due in large part to pervasive taboos and the attitudes of men.

Bloody hell.

The survey also revealed that about three-quarters of women hide their tampons and sanitary pads when they head to the bathroom for a change. Another 29% said they have cancelled plans — especially exercise — because they don’t want their period to be inadvertently exposed.

“The culture surrounding menstruation must be changed, and it takes both women and men to make that happen,” Thinx said in a statement. “It starts with open, honest conversation, and continues with education that empowers women to feel aware of and comfortable with their bodies and flows.’

Menstruation stigma dates back centuries and crosses cultures. Societies have labeled periods as unclean — or even toxic — and have used the taboos to justify the oppression of women.

Fortunately, activists in the US and around the world are fighting to shred menstruation taboos and counter the narrative that periods are somehow unnatural or otherwise worthy of shame.

NFL offensive lineman Joshua Garnett has teamed up with his sister to normalize menstruation and provide free pads and tampons to homeless women and other activists, including Chelsea Clinton, have pressured governments to end the ridiculous “tax on blood.”

Their efforts are helping ensure that no woman has to cancel a swim, disguise their tampons, or feel embarrassed while purchasing pads at the supermarket.


WATER & SANITATION: Students in Malawi Are Making Reusable Pads to Fight Menstruation Stigma & Keep Girls in School

Though these pads seem like a simple solution, they could have a huge impact.

Some children play soccer after school, others join study groups. At the Mloza Primary School in Malawi, boys and girls are joining the Sanitation Club to combat the stigma of menstruation.

The students join together to stitch together reusable sanitary pads out of cotton, waterproof lining, and other fabric, according to the BBC

In many countries, pads and other period products are affordable and accessible everyday items. But in Malawi, menstruation taboo and a lack of resources means girls miss out on school during their periods. Older girls especially tend to drop out of school at higher rates, in part due to inadequate sanitation facilities for girls, UNICEF reports.

Throughout sub-Saharan Africa, one in 10 girls on average miss school when they have their period. Those numbers are even higher in individual countries like Rwanda or Sierra Leone.

While the girls craft pads for themselves and their classmates, the boys at school join in the process and share their handiwork with siblings, 12-year-old Angelina Jumula told the BBC.

The reusable pads that the students make in the sanitation club serve as a crucial health and education resources, providing an affordable solution for girls in a country where where one sanitary pad can cost families an average day’s pay and helping to reduce stigma among boys.

“The boys assist us in making pads,” Angelina said, adding that girls now discuss menstruation more openly and play sports while menstruating.

“Girls’ attendance in schools has significantly improved since the programme was implemented,” Catherine Mangani, the school teacher who runs the sanitation club, told the BBC.


Today on POVERTY: What YOU should KNOW about GLOBAL GOALS WEEK 2017 #GlobalGoals #SDGs #Poverty #UNGA #GlobalGoalsWeek #GlobalCitizen

New York New York Exterior Skyline Color

The world is at an unprecedented point in the journey to ending extreme poverty — never before has so much progress been under so much threat. Thanks to pernicious isolationist policies spreading across the world, foreign assistance — a driving force behind the progress — risks being reduced to such an extent that we will not be able to end extreme poverty by 2030.
The situation calls for an unprecedented response, and ours was Global Citizen Week. For the first time ever during 17-23 Sept, Global Citizen collaborated with partners to hold 30 events across New York City, turning the city into an arena of activism against poverty.
And now that it’s all wrapped, we can officially say that unity is the only way to fight poverty. Take a look at how much can happen when global citizens come together to help change the world:
— In the two months leading up to Global Citizen Week, Global Citizens took over 1.6 million actions urging leaders to tackle extreme poverty

— This collective cry helped drive 29 commitments, 55 announcements and 13 calls to action, that totaled $3.2 billion, which are set to affect the lives of 221 million people
— During the course of the week, seven heads of government and more than 30 foreign ministers, ambassadors, and the heads of the world’s most influential NGOs participated in the week of advocacy.
— 28 members of Congress from both sides of the aisle highlighted their support for fully funding American foreign aid. This bipartisan demonstration sent a strong signal to the Trump administration that Congress understands that America’s leadership is vital for America and the world.
— The President of France announced with the President of Senegal that the two countries would run a fundraising drive to raise $3.1 billion for the Global Partnership for Education over the next 6 months to ensure 870 million children receive the education they need.


ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT: Accenture, Citi, Ernst & Young, and Procter & Gamble each committed to source $100 million from women-owned businesses — a majority of whom will be based in the developing world. This $400M commitment will be delivered through our partners at WEConnect International, bringing to $1 billion the total that has been committed on the Global Citizen stage from corporates towards women’s economic empowerment in the past 12 months.

HIV/AIDS: Global Citizen partners Johnson & Johnson committed to accelerate the healthcare company’s HIV vaccine and announced that for the first time it is going into late stage human clinical trials.  It is the world’s first ever “global” vaccine, which means it can protect against all strains of HIV. In early stage studies the vaccine has shown 100% success rate.

FAMINE: Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), as a member of the Appropriations Committee announced that encouraged by Global Citizens taking over 60,000 actions, his colleagues in the Senate have proposed $311.5 million more in funds for International Disaster Assistance compared to last year.

YAZIDI JUSTICE: Three years since the genocide was committed by ISIS, UK Permanent Representative to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, announced that the UK led the UN Security Council to a unanimous vote this week on the decision to set up a UN Investigation Team to pursue justice for the Yazidis. The UN resolution on ISIS accountability was described as a “long overdue first step” by the UN Office for the High Commissioner on Human Rights. This comes after an 18 month campaign and over 100,000 actions taken by Global Citizens.


FRANCE: Thanks to Global Citizen’s two year long campaign, and nearly half a million actions, including those of Global Citizen and GPE Ambassador Rihanna, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that for the first time ever a G7 country— France — was to co-host the Global Partnership for Education replenishment with an African country — Senegal in order to raise $3.1 billion to reach 870 million children with the education they need.

FAMINE: Executive Director of the World Food Program, David Beasley, confirmed that $575 million of $990 million committed by Congress in May — a commitment helped by 49,291 actions taken by Global Citizens — has been released to the WFP and others to immediately fight the famine. He then issued a powerful call to action to Global Citizens, revealing that after years of progress, the number of hungry people in the world is going up.

GHANA: President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, committed on the festival stage to end child marriage. The newly elected President inherited the initiative to end child marriage in the country from his predecessor, so this stage moment provided confirmation that the new president has officially committed to continue with the National Strategic Framework on Ending Child Marriage in Ghana. As part of this announcement, the President also reaffirmed his pledge to provide universal free secondary education.



ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT: Accenture, Citi, Ernst & Young, and Procter & Gamble each committed to source $100 million from women-owned businesses — a majority of whom will be based in the developing world. This $400M commitment will be delivered through our partners at WEConnect International, bringing to $1 billion the total been committed on the Global Citizen stage from corporates towards women’s economic empowerment in the past 12 months.

“I’m proud to stand with Accenture, Citi, EY and Procter & Gamble, who are collectively pledging four hundred million to buy from women-owned businesses over the next three years, especially in developing countries. This commitment, together with corporate commitments made over the last twelve months on the Global Citizen stage, represents a total of one billion in spend with women. Thank you!”— Elizabeth Vazquez, CEO and Co-Founder, WEConnect International

COMMONWEALTH: The UK, as incoming Chair of the Commonwealth – an association of 52 nations that is home to 2.4 billion people – committed to put gender equality on the 2018 Commonwealth Summit agenda and acknowledged the 17,750 tweets received from Global Citizens.

“Gender discrimination remains an issue in too many counties. That’s why Global Citizen’s Level the Law campaign are so vital, and why the United Kingdom supports it. Until women and girls are afforded the same rights, we will not achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. So we all need to step up our efforts.”— Alistair Burt, Minister of State for the Department for International Development and Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK.

LEVEL THE LAW: In March 2016, Global Citizen with partners CHIME FOR CHANGE and UN WOMEN launched a campaign to “Level the Law” for women all over the world. Over the past few months, Global Citizens have taken 54,000 actions to eradicate gender discriminatory laws.

GHANA: President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, committed on the festival stage to end child marriage. The newly elected President inherited the initiative to end child marriage in the country from his predecessor, so this stage moment provided confirmation that the new president has officially committed to continue with the National Strategic Framework on Ending Child Marriage in Ghana.

UN WOMEN: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Executive Director of UN Women, and Pakistani activist Uzma Gul used the festival stage to call on everyone to do their part to level the playing field for women and end child marriage.

We must act to ensure girls remain in school, complete their education, and achieve their potential. Critically, men and boys must take responsibility and say no more. Please support the UN Women’s HeforShe movement and say: “No more child marriage.”Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women; Under-Secretary-General, United Nations

“Global Citizens, keep tweeting, emailing and calling on your leaders to Level the Law and end child marriage for a brighter future for all!” Uzma Gul, child marriage activist, Pakistan

YAZIDI JUSTICE: Over the course of an 18 month campaign to achieve justice for the Yazidi genocide, Global Citizen have targeted both UN Security Council members and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, as two critical bodies with the power to kick start the process of building and prosecuting a case against ISIS. Both entities stepped up to make commitments that they would do just that — much needed critical progress 3 years after the genocide occurred.

UK Permanent Representative to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, announced that the UK led the UN Security Council to a unanimous vote this week on the decision to set up a UN Investigation Team to pursue justice for the Yazidis. The UN resolution on ISIS accountability was described as a “long overdue first step” by the UN Office for the High Commissioner on Human Rights.

“By 15 votes to 0, we decided to set up a UN Investigation Team that will help Iraq collect, preserve, and store evidence of acts that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by Daesh.” — Matthew Rycroft, Permanent Representative to the UN, UK

UN Assistant Secretary-General of Human Rights Andrew Gilmour responded to 80,000 actions by Global Citizens and committed that the UN teams on the ground would gather evidence to secure justice for the Yazidis.

“Like tens of thousands of outraged and committed Global Citizens, the UN Human Rights Office has been calling loudly for investigation and justice. Tonight I commit that my colleagues on the ground will monitor and report on human rights abuses for the purpose of evidence-gathering.” Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary-General of Human Rights, United Nations

Yazidi activist and ISIS survivor Shireen Ibrahim shared her story with the crowd, calling for unity in the face of these atrocities that over 3 years since they were committed, not a single victim has received justice.

“ISIS still holds many Yazidis in captivity. We cannot stop fighting for their freedom and justice. I ask for you, Global Citizens, to not only hear my story, but to call on the UN and world leaders to end impunity for ISIS crimes.”— Shireen Ibrahim, Yazidi activist and ISIS survivor

WOMEN’S HEALTH: Global Citizen in partnership with CHIME FOR CHANGE has supported the She Decides campaign since its launch in February, taking 54,000 actions in the lead up to the Festival:

DENMARK: Denmark commits to doubling the funding for sexual and reproductive health and rights of women. The Minister for Development Cooperation announced that the country would contribute more than $110 million USD for women’s health in 2018.

“How can a young girl go to school, if she is forced to marry? Or if her road to school is unsafe? Or if pregnancy forces her to drop out? Global citizens: we need to act on this. Denmark may be a small country, but our voices are loud. That’s why we will double the funding for Sexual and Reproductive Health. Next year we set aside more than $110 million for global efforts.”Ulla Tørnæs, Minister for Development Cooperation, Denmark

LUXEMBOURG: The country’s Prime Minister issued a strong call to action to other leaders to invest in adequate health for girls and women with a focus on sexual and reproductive health.

“We must continue to invest in adequate and quality health for girls and women, including sexual and reproductive health services, which is critical to prevent sexual abuse, early childhood marriage, and HIV/AIDS. Together, we can achieve a world where She Decides”Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister, Luxembourg



GHANA: President Afuko-Addo reaffirmed their commitment from the Festival stage to implement a policy of free Secondary Education, as part of his vision to promoting gender equality and eliminating child marriage:

We are equally committed to ensuring access to a minimum of senior high school education for the girls of Ghana. A policy that has already started to work…Together we can achieve equality, and empower women and girls.” — Nana Akufo-Addo, President, Ghana

HP: Global Citizen partner HP responded to over 76,000 actions by Global Citizens and committed to impact 1 million lives by 2020 through distributing the new HP School Cloud — a brand new educational device the organization invented that enables students to use it to learn, from wherever they are, even without internet access.

“This week, we’re proud to announce the new HP School Cloud that enables schools without an internet connection to provide students with vital digital learning experiences. With the help of partner governments and organizations like Intel, Global Business Coalition for Education, Education Cannot Wait fund, OpenStax, and Global Citizen, HP will identify the classrooms in most urgent need so that we can help reach one million learners by 2020.” — Stuart Pann, Chief Supply Chain Officer, HP

On stage alongside the Chief Supply Officer of HP was the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Malawi, who announced that HP would be collaborating with the country to deliver education services in Malawi.

“We are therefore, grateful that HP, through their programme to impact one million lives by investing in educational software innovation for children, have chosen to partner with Malawi and thus contribute towards improving the quality of education.” — Emmanuel Fabiano,  Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Malawi

Priyanka Chopra, shared the stage moment with governmental and business heads, and challenged Global Citizens to help achieve Global Goal 4: a quality education for all.

“If we don’t do this, who will? We owe it to our children. They are this planet’s only future.  Our only hope. I urge you all to invest in the future and stand up for education…today – not tomorrow!” Priyanka Chopra, Actress and Activist


Global Citizen Youth Advocate: Global Citizen Davinia James demonstrated the difference that one person can make, telling the story of how she single-handedly collected 1.5 million pennies and sent 228 girls to school in Sierra Leone, Haiti, Peru, Ethiopia, Egypt, Nepal, Cambodia, India, and Afghanistan. Her story of how she built the Pennies 4 Girls project was followed by a rousing rallying cry from Afghan humanitarian and education activist, Razia Jan, who issued a strong call to action to everyone in the auditorium at GC LIVE to contribute their pennies.

If every person in this theater gave just one penny, we could improve the future for girls everywhere. One penny at a time, we are changing lives by getting girls to school and giving them a chance. From everyone at the Zabuli Education Center, I thank you all for your time and your action.”— Razia Jan, Afghan humanitarian and education activist

Just before Razia and Davinia left the stage, a message was played from the girls who are impacted by Razia’s fearless educating and Davinia’s generosity.

“Thank you Davinia for doing your part in helping send girls to school. Education is the key for a better future! We need global citizens like you and World Leaders to step up and do their part in ensuring every girl has a chance to go to school – like here at the Zabuli Education Center!”  – Afghan School Girls, Zabuli Education Center

Michelle Obama: Passionate girls’ education advocate and former First Lady Michelle Obama put out a strong call to arms to Global Citizens.

“In the coming months, through the Obama presidential center, we’ll be announcing new ways to commit your time, energy and resources to this cause. And I look forward to working with partners like Global Citizen, and with all of you, to give all our girls the opportunities they deserve.” Michelle Obama, Girls Education Advocate, Former First Lady, US


Denmark: The Minister for Development Cooperation reaffirmed the country’s commitment made earlier in the week to provide $16 million to go to the Education Cannot Wait fund to help ensure children in conflict and emergency situations do not miss out on an education.

“I want to help women and girls in some of the world’s worst conflicts and humanitarian situations to take advantage of quality education opportunities. Because I want every young girl to be able to start and finish her education, no matter the circumstance! Which is why I am also proud to announce that Denmark has committed USD $16 million to the Education Cannot Wait fund that services children in the most vulnerable circumstances.”  Ulla Tørnæs, Minister for Development Cooperation, Denmark

EU: In an interview broadcast at the festival Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, responded to 90,000 actions from Global Citizens confirmed another commitment to the fund during Global Citizen week of $13 million from the European Commission, and $500,000 from Dubai Cares.

I am glad to confirm to the 90,000 Global Citizens that already joined our movement and backed our call to world leaders that they are being heard. This week at the UN General Assembly, the European Commission, Denmark and Dubai Cares announced new pledges totaling $29.5 million.”  Yasmine Sherif, Director, Education Cannot Wait


FRANCE: thanks to Global Citizen’s two year long campaign, and nearly half a million actions, including those of Global Citizen and GPE Ambassador Rihanna, the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, announced that for the first time ever a G7 country— France — was to co-host the Global Partnership for Education replenishment with an African country — Senegal — in order to raise $3.1 billion to reach 870 million children with the education they need. Ambassador Fode Seck, Permanent Representative to the UN for Senegal, ratified this partnership from the stage.

“It’s all about education precisely to fight against terrorism, fundamentalism. It’s all about education to help women to build their life, to help people to have a decent life. I do believe we can deliver today, and the momentum is now. So please, don’t change. Be as passionate and committed as you are, with everything, and be sure I will be as passionate and as committed as you are especially this evening.” — Emmanuel Macron, President, France

“For the first time in history a G7 nation and an African nation join efforts to ensure that over 870 million children enjoy one of their most important rights: the right to Education.”— Ambassador Fode Seck, Senegal

DENMARK: Danish Minister Ulla Tørnæs announced that they look forward to partnering with the GPE in their replenishment.

“Global Citizens and World Leaders – if we educate a girl, she will change the world. Platforms like the Global Partnership for Education are on a mission to ensure that every girl has control of her future through an education.”Minister of Education, Ulla Tørnæs, Denmark

ARGENTINA: As host of the G20 in 2018, Argentina formally announced that they will commit to funding throughout the Global Partnership for Education replenishment next year, which if fulfilled will go towards educating 870 million children in the world’s poorest countries.

“And I have come here tonight to call on donors and the private sector to step up. Help shape a better future, fund the Global Partnership for Education.  President Macri has asked me to share with you that he will stand with the Global Partnership for Education and will personally attend their Financing Conference in early 2018. We fully believe that every child deserves control of their future, and we will use our G20 presidency to send a strong message to the world that it is time to step up and prioritize education.— Jorge Faurie, Foreign Minister, Argentina

JULIA GILLARD: Chair of the Global Partnership for Education and former Australian Prime Minister underlined the impact of Global Citizen activism in putting education on G20 agenda before announcing historic co-hosting of GPE replenishment by France and Senegal

“Because of all of the actions you have taken, education was prioritized on the G20 agenda this year for the first time and will continue to be prioritized in the next! The world is starting to wake up to the calls of education needed urgently around the world.”— Julia Gillard, Chair, Global Partnership for Education

UNICEF: Danish Minister Ulla Tørnæs announced the country commits $11 million to UNICEF for children around the globe.



ENDING OPEN DEFECATION: Global Citizens have taken over 240,000 actions on the issue of sanitation to get world leaders to increase action for one of the most neglected Global Goals. At the Festival Nigeria committed to getting 5.5 million people out of open defecation by the end of 2018, as announced by the Nigerian Minister of Water Resources.

“I am therefore here today on behalf of President Buhari to pledge to you that Nigeria will work with partners, including the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, to empower 5.5 million people to achieve Open Defecation Free status by 2018… Thank you Global Citizens! Let’s work together to make this dream a reality!”— Adamu Suleiman, Minister of Water Resources, Nigeria

FECAL SLUDGE MANAGEMENT: Sanitation activist Shomy Chowdhury shared a firm call to action to world leaders for her country of Bangladesh on the issue of fecal sludge management.

“My home of Bangladesh has made historic progress towards access to sanitation, but our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina still has much to do and particularly for fecal sludge management. I also invite President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim of Mauritius, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, to continue your championship of the Global Goals by expanding your commitment to global sanitation.”Shomy Chowdhury, Activist and founder of Awareness 360, Bangladesh


NORWAY: The Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, recognized the importance of menstrual hygiene management — an issue that Global Citizens have taken over 16,000 actions on in the past few months. Norway committed to contribute to sexual and reproductive health services including comprehensive sexuality education for 170 million young people by year 2030 through Norway’s support to UNFPA, UNESCO and other partners to help fix a crisis that holds girls and women back all over the world.

“We invest in girls’ education and health as a moral imperative. We encourage others to step up their work in this area. It is one of the best buys available for global development.”— Erna Solberg, Prime Minister, Norway

ACTIVISM: Young menstrual hygiene activist, Pravin Nikam, from India, made a strong to call arms from the festival stage declaring that we all have a role to play in fixing this crisis.

“Tonight, I call upon world leaders to join Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Global Citizens by taking immediate action to make Menstrual Hygiene Management more accessible. Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada, Prime Minister Rutte of the Netherlands, and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, you have all shown, as male leaders, you are supportive of women’s health and rights. You are the natural leaders for this effort so please join us by making a commitment to address this critical issue.”Pravin Nikam, Activist


AUSTRALIA: Julie Bishop, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Australia announced via video message that in their role as members of the HLPW the country will commit $6 million USD towards the Water Innovation Engine— an innovation funding mechanism to support new ideas to fix the water and sanitation crisis.

“Managing fresh global water resources is an important and urgent challenge. Around the world more than two billion people go without adequate sanitation and lack safe drinking water in their homes. This results in millions of avoidable deaths each year…A coordinated global effort is required to discover new innovations and take them to scale. Today I’m delighted to announce that Australia will contribute six million US dollars to establish a Water Innovation Engine.” — Julie Bishop, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Australia

CANADA announced that they would commit $3.8 million (CAD) towards the Water Innovation Engine — a commitment that will be matched to the tune of $5 million(CAD) by all participating partners. This funding will be provided to innovators who need financial support to bring their innovation ideas to life, and could go on to fix major problems such as fecal sludge management.



Famine Response: In response to the tragedy of 20 million people being at risk of famine, Global Citizens took over 75,000 actions in the run up to the festival.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), speaking at Global Citizen Movement Makers, highlighted the importance of U.S funding for famine response, thanking Global Citizens for their actions which helped secure appropriations for $990 million in new funding for emergency famine response in May.

World Food Program: In an accountability moment, Executive Director of the World Food Program, David Beasley, confirmed that $575 million of this funding has been released to the WFP and others to immediately fight the famine, as part of $1.275b announced by the US government this week. He then issued a powerful call to action to Global Citizens, revealing that after years of progress, the number of hungry people in the world is going up.

“And the good news is that today, this week, the United States announced, $1.3 billion in humanitarian aid, you are making a difference, your voice is being heard. God bless you.” — David Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Program

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), as a member of the Appropriations Committee announced that encouraged by Global Citizens taking over 60,000 actions, his colleagues in the Senate have proposed $311.5 million more in funds for International Disaster Assistance compared to last year.

The humanitarian crisis in South Sudan is a byproduct of conflict. It’s entirely man-made. The solution is man-made, too. You are the solution. Thanks to your actions, my colleagues in the Senate and I have proposed over $300 million more dollars in funds for International Disaster Assistance. In total, the Senate has called for $1.6 billion in funding for food assistance, and $3.13 billion for International Disaster Assistance.” — Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)

Netherlands: Lilianne Ploumen, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation announced via video message to Global Citizens that the Netherlands commits 5 million euros to the UN World Food Programme. This will be an earmarked contribution so that the WFP are able to flexibly program their funds so that the people with highest needs are reached.

“Global Citizens almost 75K of you have taken action, and the Netherlands is ready to respond to the great effort. So far this year we have contributed 45 million Euros to the WFP, today we commit an additional 5 million to fight famine and starvation where the need is greatest.” — Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Netherlands

Chainsmokers: The band issued a strong call to action from the stage to the governments of the European Commission, Ireland and France to increase their support to meet the UN’s appeal for $2.2 billion to reach the 20 million on brink of starvation in Yemen, Northern Nigeria, Southern Sudan and Somalia

INNOVATION: Almost 75,000 actions have been taken by Global Citizens on the issue of food and hunger in the recent months, to urge a response to the ongoing crisis that sees 20 million people right now on the verge of death. Our calls were certainly answered— by both the public and private spheres stepping up with innovative solutions.

Belgium: The Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, announced on the stage that Belgium is committing to doubling its investment in humanitarian research & innovation— from $10 million this year, to $20 million next year. This investment will go towards innovation such as the humanitarian drones program, funded by the Belgian Government with the United Nations World Food Program that maps crisis areas and reaches those who are most vulnerable.

“I encourage all humanitarian donors to do the same, and I ask all innovators to share their ideas. To create and to inspire. With more investments in innovation we will help more people and we will save more lives.”— Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister, Belgium

Procter and Gamble announced a commitment that will help to tackle malnutrition through greatly reducing the risk of waterborne diseases. The organization committed to provide 200 million litres of clean water in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen over the next 6 – 9 months. They will do this working with their Children’s Safe Drinking Water partners— Save the Children, World Vision and CARE, who will deliver the distribution of P&G Purifier of Water packets that enable people to collect water from open sources and turn it into clean drinking water.

“Children and families struggle to survive because they have no choice but to drink water filled with contaminants and waterborne diseases, leading to sickness, malnutrition, and widespread loss of life. That’s why I’m pleased to announce tonight that Procter & Gamble will provide 200 million litres of clean water in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen.” Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, Procter & Gamble

Palmiro Ocampo, Chef and activist from Peru committed on the stage to work with families throughout his country to get Peru to zero hunger by 2030 as part of the Cocina con Causa programme. Via the initiative, Ocampo will continue to visit families across the country preparing meals and sharing recipe ideas to combat anaemia, malnutrition and obesity.

“Tonight, I am committing to work with families throughout my country to get Peru to zero hunger by 2030. This may represent just a little grain of sand, but together we can build a whole beach of hope.” Palmiro Ocampo, chef and activist




CLINTON HEALTH ACCESS INITIATIVE; A brand new pricing agreement was announced by the Clinton Health Access Initiative on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, DFID, Unitaid, and UNAIDS which will ensure 30 million people living with HIV in countries with the greatest need will have access to an optimal treatment — starting with Kenya and South Africa. The agreement is set to save these countries at least $1 billion over the next 6 years. As part of their announcement, the partnership confirmed an additional $300 million in savings for the first time.

“So for the first time ever, people living in 92 low and middle income countries will have access to an optimal treatment containing dolutegravir for less than a quarter a day. This new negotiated agreement is set to save our world at least $1.3 billion over the next 6 years. $1.3 billion that can bring us closer to ending HIV/AIDS and other diseases that affect the world’s poorest for good!” Carolyn Amole, Senior Director, Clinton Health Access Initiative

“As part of the efforts to scale up high-quality treatment for all, I am very happy to announce that South Africa along with Kenya are two of the first countries that have agreed to introduce into their markets this important medicine and transform the lives of their people. This means that not only will many more  people have access to more affordable treatment for HIV and AIDS, but that they will have access to the best drug on the global market, with fewer side effects, and will only need to take one pill a day.” Dr. Linda-Gail Bekker, President, International AIDS Society

JOHNSON & JOHNSON: Global Citizen partners Johnson & Johnson commits to accelerate the healthcare company’s HIV vaccine and announced that for the first time it is ready to go into large scale efficiency testing in humans.  It is the world’s first ever “global” vaccine, which means it can protect against all strains of HIV. In early stage studies the vaccine has shown 100% immune rate. The Chief Scientific Officer for the organization thanked Global Citizens for being a partner and promised that the company would not rest until HIV was history.

“Today we are thrilled to announce for the first time, that we are going into large scale efficacy testing of the HIV vaccine in humans. As a scientist and a physician… I can tell you that these results make me more optimistic than ever before that we get to an HIV vaccine in our lifetime.” — Paul Stoffels, Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson

LUXEMBOURG: Xavier Bettel, the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, stepped up to the Global Citizen stage to announce his commitment to dismantle the stigma around HIV and invited global citizens to work with him in that endeavour to ensure people with HIV are treated with the respect and humanity they deserve. He also took the opportunity to call for continued investment in sexual and reproductive health services for girls and women.

“As one of the first openly gay heads of government in the world, I am incredibly passionate about issues that disproportionately affect the LGBT community. I fiercely support movements that are working for better outcomes for people affected by HIV/AIDS, and I believe it’s equally important to break down the stigma that comes with this diagnosis…. This is why I call upon you, as global citizens and ultimately as fellow humans, to work with me to dismantle this stigma and ensure that all people with HIV are treated with the respect, dignity, and humanity they deserve.”— Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister, Luxembourg

PARIS JACKSON: Paris Jackson was announced as HIV and AIDS Ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and committed to championing this cause in her new role

ZIKA: In the lead up to the festival, Global Citizens took over 67,000 actions to ensure that governments and companies stepped up for global health security. Global Citizen partners Johnson & Johnson announced that its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies (Janssen), is partnering with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) to accelerate development of a preventive Zika vaccine to help cessate the rapid spread of this virus that is now reported in 84 countries and territories across the world.

“As we have done with Ebola, when we accelerated the development of a vaccine to help prevent the disease, Johnson & Johnson is today proud to announce that we have entered into collaboration with Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to advance a promising investigational Zika Vaccine…Bringing together the brightest scientific minds and latest technologies we aim to develop a vaccine and help stop the spread of this disease. Working together we will ensure society wins, and Zika loses.” Gaston Picchio, Vice President of Zika Research, Johnson & Johnson

MATERNAL HEALTH: After 29,699 actions were taken by Global Citizens in the run up to the festival, Ugandan MP and so called “ghetto president” Bobi Wine, declared that he will use his platform as an elected official to improve the lives of Ugandan mothers and children. The ‘ghetto president’ committed that on his return home he would hold his government accountable for the promises it has made on healthcare end campaign to ensure that the country increases the health portion of the budget to 15% and increase health spending towards maternal and child health care by over 50%. The MP was joined on stage by activist Denis Muwanguzi and health champion and hip hop artist French Montana who both issued firm demands on behalf of Ugandan mothers and children.[A]

“Currently, Uganda spends less than $1 a month on each citizen’s health care, which adds up to less than 6.3% of the national budget. To improve the survival of Ugandan mothers and children, at least 15% of the budget must be allocated to the health sector.”Denis Muwanguzi, Activist and Founder, Suubi Health Center

“There is still more to be done and as global citizens we must raise our voices to fight for the health of people everywhere!” French Montana, Global Citizen Health Champion and hip hop artist

WHO Partnership: Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization issued a powerful call to action for universal health coverage before announcing a partnership with Global Citizen to help achieve a healthier world for all.

Tonight, I’m delighted to announce that I have agreed with Global Citizen that we will join forces to make universal health coverage and health for all on the global agenda. But to do this — we need your help! Your voice matters. So Global Citizens, speak up! Keep tweeting, emailing, and calling on your leaders to invest in Health for All! — Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO

SERGE IBAKA: NBA player Serge Ibaka shared his moving personal story of growing up in extreme poverty with the festival crowd before declaring himself a Global Citizen advocate.


Malta: The Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, reaffirmed his previous commitment to Global Citizens on polio eradication, declaring that in his final 6 months as Chair of the Commonwealth he would increase his efforts to ensure preventable diseases like polio and malaria make it to the top of the Commonwealth Summit agenda in 2018.

“Today, we pledge that during the next 6 months, until the Commonwealth family meets again in London, we will engage with more leaders to deliver new resources to finish the job. So keep on tweeting, keep on emailing, keep on making yourself heard because it works.”— Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister, Malta

UK: In response to a multi year campaign and over 32,000 actions taken in the last few months alone by Global Citizen, the UK made multiple commitments to help wipe the world of preventable diseases. The government kicked off Global Citizen week with the Minister of State for International Development declaring a reaffirmation at GC LIVE! of the country’s commitment to reach 45 million people with polio vaccinations to help eradicate the virus once and for all.

“The UK stands beside Malta in our dedication to ending polio, malaria, and other preventable diseases. This past August, the UK announced a new commitment of £100 million to eradicate polio once and for all, which I reaffirm in front of you all tonight.” — Alistair Burt, Minister of State for the Department for International Development and Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK

Commonwealth: Baroness Patricia Scotland, the Commonwealth Secretary-General called for universal vaccine access across the Commonwealth, and declared that tackling malaria was officially a Commonwealth priority;

“We need vaccinations for every at-risk child in the Commonwealth. Next, we need to focus on the deadliest killer disease of all time, malaria. 90 percent of Commonwealth people live in malaria-affected countries. Commonwealth countries account to two thirds of the global population at risk from Malaria. That’s why mobilizing efforts to rid the world of malaria is a priority for our Commonwealth family of nations.” — Baroness Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General, Commonwealth

UAE: The UAE government announced another critical commitment towards preventable diseases during the week. Via video message the Director General of Abu Dhabi’s health authority, Dr Maha Bakarat, thanked Global Citizens for taking over 170,000 actions on SDG 3 to ensure global health before committing $5 million towards the Rollback Malaria Partnership, with the Gates Foundation.

“It gives me great honor to tell you that the UAE is committed to preventing Malaria for the world’s most vulnerable. Together with the Gates Foundation, we are pledging $5m to the Rollback Malaria Partnership. Keep taking action and together we can end preventable diseases for good!” — Dr Maha Bakarat, Director General for the Health Authority, Abu Dhabi



When the Trump Administration proposed catastrophic cuts to foreign assistance in May, Global Citizen launched the #StoptheCuts campaign. Since then Global Citizens have taken 358,000 actions to demand congress stand up for US foreign aid. And it was abundantly clear that this collective cry had been heard when 26 members of Congress participated in Global Citizen Week events, highlighting their support for full funding for American foreign aid.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY): Minority Leader Schumer responded to the 17,515 Global Citizens in New York that tweeted at him to stand up for foreign assistance, issuing a rallying cry to the crowd from the Festival stage.

“We’re all here today because we know the world is a better place when we stand up for the ideals that make America, America. That we are all entitled to liberty, justice, and equality under the law. That we welcome the world’s tired, poor, and huddled masses to our shores. And that we are a stronger country when we pledge to fight disease and poverty – not only within our borders, but beyond them. So I was shocked when the White House proposed major cuts to the International Affairs Budget this year….Almost 20,000 of you have tweeted at me to show your support for this important work. I couldn’t be prouder of you – and I. Stand. With You!

Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY): Rep Rogers, Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee for State, Foreign Operations & Related Programs provided a statement in support of foreign assistance:

“Like all of you at Global Citizen I wholeheartedly support America’s global leadership and our shared efforts to combat poverty around the world.. Foreign aid saves lives, builds economies and keeps us safe here at home.”

Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA): reminded the 60,000 strong crowd that America’s leadership in foreign aid is essential to global security:

“Stepping up and helping those in need is a fundamental American value. Our leadership is needed on the world stage for strength, stability, and as a beacon of moral responsibility.”

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN): Following advocacy from Global Citizens in Tennessee, Connie Britton, and Green Day, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Corker issued a strong video statement underlining the importance of America’s investments in global food security, in light of the famine which sees 20 million people on the brink of starvation:

“As the largest single donor, the United-States have been providing substantial resources to address this crisis…. We’ve already made significant progress and with your support I am confident we will succeed. Thank you for your tremendous passion and dedication to this issue. It is making a world of difference.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) warned of the consequences of slashing foreign aid:

“We each need each other, we depend on each other. America cannot retreat from the world without consequences.”

Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) thanked Global Citizens for taking over 50,000 actions in support of the Reinforcing Education Accountability in Development Act (READ), which passed in Congress and was signed into law this month.

“This bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation that I’ve worked on in my career, but I couldn’t have done this without Global Citizens. Supporters like you took over 50,000 actions in support of the READ Act. Your tweets, calls, and petitions encouraged other members of congress to cosponsor my legislation.” Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY)



Speakers and celebrities throughout the event called on Global Citizens to take action to achieve the SDGs. (ie, Jackman).


UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY: President of the UNGA Miroslav Lajčák calls for peace, for justice, for all  at Global Citizen Festival 2017

“First, we need to stop wars. We must achieve the sustainable development goal and fight climate change. We must protect the human dignity and human rights of every single person, including those who are forced to leaves their house. We need to do this all, to protect and preserve our planet, for you. I pledge to you to work around the clock to achieve these goals as a Global Citizen ambassador and as a father.” — Miroslav Lajcak, President of the UN General Assembly

COLOMBIA: President Santos of Colombia, Nobel Peace Laureate for the historic peace agreement with Colombian rebel forces FARC, made a strong statement of solidarity with the Global Citizen movement that was shown via video message:

“Our challenge is to make sure that every man, every woman, and every child, get a chance to live with dignity…. Free from the chains of poverty and violence. Whatever affects one of us, affects all of us, and in the face of fear and despair, we as Global Citizens must make the certainty of hope possible. For freedom. For justice. For all.” — Juan Manuel Santos, President, Colombia

MANDELA’S LEGACY: With the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth coming up next year, the festival opened with an invocation of the legacy of the great leader and his deep-rooted belief that poverty could be eradicated from the former President’s grandsons. Minister in the South African Presidency, Jeff Radebe, invited Global Citizens to honor Mandela’s legacy by defeating poverty together.

“Our Grandfather believed that “poverty is man-made and can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.” And through his memory we challenge a new generation to take action.”— Kweku Mandela

“We are extremely grateful to be here tonight and to represent one of the greatest leaders and global citizens of all time — the former President of South Africa and our grandfather, Nelson Mandela.” — Ndaba Mandela

Minister Jeff Radebe took the opportunity to reaffirm South Africa’s commitment to ending extreme poverty, saying, “In my country, South Africa, we have developed the National Development Plan, Vision 2030 to deal decisively with the challenges of Poverty, Unemployment, and Inequality.”  He continued, “To effect real, substantive and meaningful change requires commitment and action by all of us, all over the world. It is about an active global citizenry. Let’s all join hands, as Mandela asked of us, to defeat and make poverty history.” — Jeff Radebe, Minister in the Presidency, South Africa

CITIZENSHIP: Primatologist and UN Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall gave a moving speech on the festival stage about what it means to be a Global Citizen, and declaring that despite the troubling times we live in, there is hope for change.

“As we continue to show cruelty toward each other, other animals, and wage war against the environment, we are hurting ourselves. Despite this, I have reasons for hope: I am hopeful because of the resilience of nature and our indomitable human spirit, and most of all, when I see the commitment of young people — your passion and courage to bring change.”— Jane Goodall, UN Messenger for Peace

ACTIVISM: George Harrison Global Citizen Award Winner Annie Lennox closed the GC LIVE! event at the start of Global Citizen Week with a powerful invocation to the inner activist in all of us and an antidote to the despair or apathy that these trying times can provoke.

“So here’s what you can do just as one person… Inform yourself… Choose a cause to which you can give your commitment. Support an organisation and join them…
Donate what you can afford, or persuade others to raise money, speak up, write, march… Just do something! And if you’re listening to this and you haven’t already done so, go to the Global Citizen website and take your first step into transformative change through positive action.”— Annie Lennox, George Harrison Global Citizen Award Winner


THE LUMINEERS: took a break from their set on stage in Central Park to call on the governments of Sweden, France and Italy to provide urgently required funds to help the millions of people in crisis due to extreme weather conditions across the Caribbean, Nepal, India and Bangladesh. The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda — a country devastated by hurricane Irma —  appeared on stage alongside the band to amplify the call to action.

“Tonight, we call on the governments of Sweden, France, and Italy to do the right thing, to step up and provide the life-saving funds needed for food, shelter and medical care for millions of people facing these crises.” — The Lumineers

“With Hurricane Irma, my island of Barbuda was flattened and has been completely evacuated. Last week, we witnessed Maria devastate our neighbor Dominica. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda is doing its part in the recovery and rebuilding efforts for Barbuda, but we cannot do this alone. We are appealing for international assistance to aid in the redevelopment and resettlement of the population of Barbuda.” — Gaston Browne, Prime Minister, Antigua and Barbuda

WFP: Executive Director of the World Food Program, David Beasley announced that donors had committed $8 million to address the humanitarian crisis affecting the Rohingya people.

UAE: In the wake of Hurricane Irma, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment committed $50 million on the Global Citizen stage to fund renewable energy supplies, another $10 million towards humanitarian relief in Antigua and Barbuda. Rodney E.L. Williams, the Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda stood alongside the Minister, declaring that this commitment will enable the islands to rebuild a sustainable future faster — including safe learning spaces at a critical time when children risk missing out on an education.

“We are here in response to all of the passionate calls, signed petitions, and tweets from you and Global Citizen Ambassadors like the co-founder of CHIME FOR CHANGE, Salma Hayek-Pinault. Now, more than ever, our work matters. In the wake of storms like Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, it is crucial that we move full-steam ahead towards sustainable, low-carbon development”— H.E. Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, UAE

“Climate change does not respect borders; it does not respect who you are – famous or not-so-famous, rich or poor. It is a global threat, which requires global solidarity. The only global solidarity is to recognize that we are all Global Citizens.— Rodney E.L. Williams, Governor General, Antigua and Barbuda