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Bono urges Donald Trump to prioritise gender equality

Published 15/11/2016

Ali Hewson and Bono with their daughters Eve Hewson and Jordan Hewson at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in Hollywood (AP)
Ali Hewson and Bono with their daughters Eve Hewson and Jordan Hewson at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in Hollywood (AP)

Bono has urged US president-elect Donald Trump to make gender equality "a priority" as the U2 singer was honoured at Glamour's Women of the Year awards.

The Irish musician received the magazine's first Man of the Year award at the star-studded ceremony in Los Angeles.

On stage, Bono said: "I know how ridiculous it is for me to be on this stage accepting this award. B ut if I didn't know how ridiculous it was, I did have the blessed internet to remind me.

"As my daughter Jordan says, there is nowhere on earth where women have the same opportunities as men.

"Unless we address this problem, both men and women together, the world will continue down this misogynistic, violent and impoverished path.

"I say to the president-elect: look across to women, make equality a priority, it is the only way forward.

"The train is leaving the station, be on it or be under it."

Bono joined International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde, singer Gwen Stefani and Olympic gymnast Simone Biles on the list of winners.

He was recognised after his One campaign launched a "Poverty is Sexist" movement last year.

In a letter to world leaders, Bono and a host of celebrities including Sir Elton John, Robert Redford and Oprah Winfrey called it an outrage that girls account for 74% of all new HIV infections among adolescents in Africa.

At the awards ceremony, actress Amber Heard read the victim impact statement of the survivor of the Stanford sexual assault case, known only as Emily Doe.

The poignant letter went viral earlier this year amid criticism of the six-month sentence handed to former Olympic swimming hopeful Brock Turner for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman at the US university campus. He was released in September after serving half of his term.

Heard, whose high-profile divorce battle with Johnny Depp involved allegations of domestic abuse, joined fellow actresses Gabourey Sidibe and Freida Pinto on stage to read the letter.

Addressing Emily Doe, Heard said: "Wherever you are, we know you are listening. Thank you for your words. Thank you for your courage. We carry it with us every day."

Lena Dunham, the creator of comedy television series Girls, fought back tears as she spoke about the Stanford case and described being a victim of sexual assault herself.

She said: "When I was assaulted I lived with guilt that I had been out, wasted in a party dress, and feared I was as inconsequential as I had been made to feel when I woke up on the floor.

"Emily's statement was a gift to survivors like me, one we will work very hard to repay through our honesty and our actions. Thank you Emily."

Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, received a lifetime achievement award at the ceremony at NeueHouse Hollywood.

Accepting the honour, she said: "Receiving a life achievement (award) is probably something close to being almost buried. I was a bit concerned about this award tonight, but I'm extremely proud to receive it.

"No matter what sorrow, sadness and frustration we feel, we have the fight. We have to grit our teeth and smile as my old national synchronised swimming team used to say to us.

"What I hope is all the young girls, all the girls to be born, will be empowered to be leaders in finance, leaders in politics and leaders in anything they choose to accomplish, and will be free and not the victim of any discrimination."

Other award winners included fashion designer Miuccia Prada, IS kidnap survivor Nadia Murad, Black Lives Matter activists Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, model and body activist Ashley Graham and actress and campaigner Zendaya.

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