#SheIsEqual campaign for women’s rights exceeds wildest expectations

Alexander De Croo

More than 780 million euros additional financial support for women's rights. This is the provisional result of the international #SheIsEqual campaign launched by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo. This is well in excess of the 500 million target that the minister put forward at the launch of the campaign.

Alexander De Croo: "This result exceeds my wildest expectations. #SheIsEqual can now make a difference for more than thirty million girls and women. By keeping them in school longer, or by simply giving them access to contraceptives so they can decide for themselves when to become mothers.”

The #SheIsEqual campaign raised a total of 780.4 million euros. This amount goes to projects that focus on gender equality, education for girls, and sexual and reproductive rights and health. With this, #SheIsEqual will impact the life of more than 30 million girls and women.

Support from celebrities
Last week Alexander De Croo stood on the stage of Global Citizen Mandela 100 in Johannesburg, a large-scale benefit concert in honor of the hundredth birthday commemoration of Nelson Mandela. The concert in Johannesburg was also the climax of the #SheIsEqual campaign.

The presence of celebrities such as Beyoncé and Chris Martin attracted worldwide attention, it also brought a great deal of financial commitments from companies, political leaders and the non-profit sector.

Thirty million girls and women
Alexander De Croo launched the #SheIsEqual campaign in Brussels in June, during the European development Days. The international NGO Global Citizen, Luxembourg, P&G and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation immediately joined the initiative.

The campaign's goal was to raise 500 million euros to improve the lives of 20 million women and girls. This target has now been well exceeded.

In Africa’s biggest stadium Alexander De Croo shared the stage with African heads of States and government as well as famous singers such as Chris Martin, Ed Sheeran, Usher, Pharrell Williams, Beyoncé and Jay-Z. He took the opportunity to emphasize that we cannot achieve the Sustainable Development Goals if we forget girls and women.

From education to female entrepreneurship
Donors laid their own focus with their financial commitments: Canada and Germany, for example, put an emphasis on education for girls, while large companies as WEConnect International partners Accenture, Intel, and Procter & Gamble stressed female entrepreneurship. Belgium, Denmark, and Norway put an emphasis on sexual and reproductive rights and family planning, to which the Belgian government decided to allocate 43 million euros.