Leading women executives and The Circle unite to combat gender-based violence and poverty worldwide

Leading women executives and The Circle unite to combat gender-based violence and poverty worldwide

Leading women across the UK music industry came together on February 27 with global women’s rights organisation, The Circle, to show their solidarity with women and girls facing gender-based violence and acute poverty worldwide. 

Spearheaded by Sammy Andrews (Deviate Digital), Kim Chappell (Chappell Productions), Cassandra Gracey (Sony Music), Sarah Henderson (MCPR), Natasha Mann (Universal Music) and Tara Paterson (XIX Entertainment), the event took place at the House Of Koko in London, ahead of International Women’s Day on the March 8.

To mark Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, Sony Music, Universal Music, Universal Music Publishing Group, SJM Concerts and Warner Music Group joined forces to donate to The Circle’s new Empowerment Fund which will provide urgent, flexible funding to grassroots, women-led projects around the world. 

Global funding for women's rights and gender-based violence remains low, despite one in three women around the world experiencing gender-based violence in their lifetime, and over 100 million women and girls living in acute poverty. 

The event was hosted by Deborah Francis-White of The Guilty Feminist podcast and featured a discussion with Rwandan activist Delphine Uwamahoro. The Circle’s Founder, Annie Lennox, provided hand-written lyrics of Sisters and photographer Rankin donated a personal photoshoot to raise funds at the event.

“I feel so proud to see all these outstanding women attending the inaugural UK Women In Music lunch in support of The Circle,” said Lennox. “To have them all standing in solidarity with our message of Global Feminism is very powerful. The future of feminism must be global. When one in three women are impacted by violence in their lifetime, we must all contribute to creating transformative change.”

Andrews, founder and CEO at Deviate Digital said: “As a long-standing supporter of The Circle, I have seen how vital their work is in empowering women around the world and how sectors like the music industry can play a key role in making change.” 

Gracey, president of 4th Floor Creative Group at Sony commented: “Having recently met with Nonceba, a grassroots South African partner of The Circle, and learned first-hand about the incredible work they deliver for women who have been abused, I am immensely proud to be part of this brilliant event. Thank you to all the attendees and event partners who made it such a success.”

“Funds raised today will help The Circle continue to do their important work around the globe,” said Mann, director of diversity and inclusion at Universal Music said. “To be part of an event bringing women together at the start of Women’s History Month and International Women‘s Day, whilst celebrating global feminism and diversity, is something I’m incredibly proud of.”

Raakhi Shah, CEO of The Circle added: “The Circle has a long history of partnering with the music industry over the years from our Music Icons Auction with Billie Eilish and Taylor Swift, to our Global Feminism film with Ed Sheeran, Mary J Blige and others. We are delighted that the industry is coming together to raise vital funds for marginalised women around the world through the inaugural Women In Music lunch.” 

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