Sheryl Sandberg, Melinda Gates and Other Influencers Sign an Open Letter Declaring 'Poverty Is Sexist'

Sheryl Sandberg, Melinda Gates and Other Influencers Sign an Open Letter Declaring 'Poverty Is Sexist'
Image credit: Brian Snyder | Reuters
Facebook's COO Sandberg delivers the Class Day address at Harvard University in Cambridge

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What's something Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, actress Meryl Streep, Unilever CEO Paul Polman, entrepreneur Sean Parker, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, activist Melinda Gates and Glamour Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive agree on? "Poverty is sexist."

A total of 86 influencers, including the people mentioned above, have signed an open letter from the ONE Campaign -- an international advocacy organization that focuses on fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, mainly in Africa. The letter, pegged to International Women’s Day on Tuesday, calls on lawmakers to support gender equality in order to fight extreme poverty more effectively.

Related: Meet the Fearless Female Franchisors Who are Living Their Dreams

“Girls and women living in extreme poverty -- those often hit hardest by the injustice of gender inequality -- have been left out of the conversation,” the letter says, asking for data, funding and policy changes to support its cause.

Many who have signed the letter have a history of advocating for women and girls. Sandberg, known for her book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead that started the Lean In movement, has been an outspoken fighter for women’s rights in the workplace. Melinda Gates has invested money in improving the health of women and children through her and husband Bill's foundation. Writer, actress and comedian Amy Poehler created Smart Girls, an organization that encourages young women to be intelligent and imaginative.

Related: 2016's Women to Watch

The first International Women’s Day was in 1909 and aimed to bring attention to voting rights and better wages for women.

 
 
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