Hugh Jackman & Wife Deborah Lee Furness Raising Awareness For Gender Equality

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Deborah Lee Furness is an Australian Actress and wife of Hugh Jackman. But she has a second Hugh in her life who is having a major influence. His name is Hugh Evans, and he is the co-founder of youth initiative to eradicate poverty The Oaktree Foundation, and The Global Poverty Project. They are the org who were behind the awesome Global Citizen music festival which was held in New York in 2013.

Jackman and Furness have been outspoken advocates of adoption, as they are passionate about the global orphan crises, having two adopted children of their own, Oscar and Ava. Nowadays they are heavily involved as global advisors for the GPP.

Hugh Evans and Deborah Lee Furness made an appearance on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ TV show to talk about the issue with global poverty, and how working to eradicate it will be the key factor in gender equality for women.

They spoke to host Mika Brzezinski about some facts that are not necessarily common knowledge. Evans and his team are working to alleviate global poverty by the year 2015. They are targeting women specifically, because in a lot of third world countries, it is the women who bear the burden of providing for their family, raising the children, and contributing to their community. Yet shockingly, women make up 70% of poverty stricken people in the world.

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Deborah tells Mika both she and her husband Hugh met Evans in Sydney, Australia 6 years ago at an event and got talking about this issue. Jackman invited Evans to dinner and Deborah says she couldn’t stop talking his ear off because she is so passionate about the cause of gender equality.

“I think we need more young women setting the mark and being leaders now and the next generation will see this,” she says. Deborah goes on to mention Malala Yousafzai who is a great example of a young girl standing up for a cause despite real adversity.

Co-host Thomas Roberts makes the great point that kids in countries like Australia, America and other western nations can easily take education for granted, but for others like Malala it is a daily struggle.

“It’s now widely recognized that’s women’s equality is the key to eradicating extreme poverty,” says Hugh Evans, while explaining why Gender Equality has become the focus for the Global Poverty Project.

“We look at four key issues: firstly maternal health, family planning, girls’ education, 31 millions girls currently have no access to education, and also women’s representation. And all of these are encompassed in the United Nations millennium development goals at present, and we wanna ensure the secretary General prioritizes women’s equality going forward.”

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Hugh mentions that all the world leaders will be meeting over the next 18 months to discuss what the post-2015 agenda will look like, so these goals are more crucial than ever.

Thomas Roberts then says something amazing which isn’t said enough, and that is raising awareness about this issue amongst boys from an early age.

“Educating young boys to recognize the value of young women, who then develop into strong women. So it’s not only educating women to feel self-empowered but it’s also about educating the boys to recognize that they have gender equals in women.”

Deborah makes an important point echoing Roberts’ words, and that is both men and women need to be at the table to discuss solutions for eradicating gender inequality, we all need to work together rather than just leave the women to do it all.

This is a really important topic. For most of us poverty isn’t an every day issue, but in the grand scheme of things, raising awareness and doing our small part is our duty. We have a responsibility to leave this world in a better shape for the next generation of women.

3 Comments

  1. They are correct~~both need to be educated, so we can solve this together. It is really sad when there are that many women who are not able to be educated!!

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