At the recently-held fifth edition of annual Power of Women New York luncheon, Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo social media campaign, actor Emily Blunt, author Margaret Atwood, musician Alicia Keys and writer, actor and comic Tina Fey were among this year’s honorees. All of them as well as other speakers made some powerful statements worth discussing.
One of the strongest actors of this generation, Emily Blunt took the stage and spoke about the important issue of girl’s education and her own daughters before going on to praise Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist who was shot by the Taliban in 2012 for pursuing and advocating for the right of girls to education.
Malala Yousafzai has “the most compassionate of hearts, but courage and will of steel,” she said.
“When the bullets rained down on these girls, the world stopped in their tracks and they listened to Malala, but most importantly, so did millions of girls around the world put in the same position. This courageous, eloquent, and inspiring girl became their light,” Blunt added.
Blunt is a big supporter of Malala Fund and has endorsed and spoken about it in the past as well.
She concluded her speech by adding: “If women are given a voice, they use it. When they are handed the purse stings, the communities thrive. When they are given a job, they flourish. They organize better. They galvanize more passionately and they are more likely to encourage peace where peace should be the priority.”
Tina Fey, who was honored for her support of Reading Is Fundamental, America's leading literacy nonprofit, in her speech noted how she is working towards making sure that she is not the only woman in the room and owes a great deal to all women she has worked with.
“The community of women that I work with have always inspired me to do better,” she said. “To be the best I can be, if not better. I made a vow to myself to not accept that privilege of being the only woman in the room…to use any power I had to create opportunity for others."
Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys, who was honored for co-launching Keep a Child Alive, a nonprofit aimed at combating the physical, social and economic impacts of HIV, made a reference to the Grammy president's remarks that women need to step up and spoke about a number of issues deeply relevant to the times we live in.
“We are more on fire than we’ve ever been — and look at all the action that’s around us: women running for office in record numbers, women banding together in the entertainment industry, women demanding an end to disparity in the music industry like equal representation on the Grammy stage,” said Keys.
“We were told we need to step up. Well you feel that step up now?” she said.
She concluded by saying: “I’m so honored to be standing here with you all, because you are warriors, agents of change. And I accept this honor on behalf of all the women who have never been recognized in the way they ought to be: You are all incredible women of power.”