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Poverty is sexist! Sadly that’s a fact, but it definitely should not stay like that.

Poverty is sexist. That may be a fact, but shouldn’t be so. Inspired by popstars like LADY GAGA, BEYONCÉ, ANGELIQUE KIDJIO and MARY J. BLIGE, who supported ONE’s campaign ‘Poverty is Sexist’ by signing an open letter to German chancellor Angela Merkel and taking part in the #Strengthie campaign, now NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION has teamed up with ONE to support women all over the world. Together, we decided to put together an unusual playlist that illustrates the campaign ‘Poverty is Sexist’. This playlist includes songs that empower women, songs that are about women, and of course, songs that just great songs.

The featured songs are not necessarily songs that have already changed the world (although they might have the potential for that), but songs that will make you think about what is happening in our world. Songs that will encourage you to believe that seemingly utopian goals are actually achievable – such as ending extreme poverty by 2030. According to the United Nations’ latest study about the state of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), 836 million people still live in extreme poverty across the world. More than half of them are women and girls. In its recent report, Poverty is Sexist, ONE showed that in all areas of life, women and girls in developing countries are extreme poverty’s biggest victims. If we manage to end discrimination against women, we would witness not only a big step towards gender equality, but also a massive step in fighting. This would benefit all of society!
So let’s go and put the world in women’s hands.

10. KINDNESS – World Restart

Adam Bainbridge clearly chose one of the friendliest artist names possible. His critically acclaimed debut album World, You Need a Change of Mind (2012) is one of our all-time favourites which was only topped by his latest album Otherness (2014, Female Energy Records). Motto: no playlist without KINDNESS.

9. FRANK OCEAN – Sierra Leone

The former ‘Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All’ (short: OFWGKTA) member released his critically acclaimed R&B album Channel Orange in summer 2012 and took the step from being a ghostwriter for artists like JOHN LEGEND and JUSTIN BIEBER to a solo artist. He is also the first big Afro-American R&B artist who was open about his bisexuality. At the same time, the song also makes clear that it’s necessary to strengthen the health systems of developing countries. Weakened by the Ebola epidemic, the likelihood that women in West Africa die in childbirth is about 157 times higher than in Germany.

8. NINA SIMONE – Four Women

An icon of political songs. In this song, Simone portrays four women who all represent an Afro-American stereotype in society; strong women who are constantly confronted with discrimination, but always keep a positive attitude.


The Australian band released their debut album back in 2005 and just two years later, performed at the Live Earth concert in Sydney. They might have meant something else when they sang ‘She’s a woman, you know what I mean / You better listen, listen to me / She’s gonna set you free oh oh yeah’, but this is clearly a case for empowering women. A song that shouldn’t be missing in this playlist.

6. RED DRAGON BAND – Let me be your Radio

The big unknown of the list. An uptempo disco song that manifests the expression ‘FM here stands for female’. This track focuses on the fact that it took a very long time until women were allowed to present radio shows.

5. ZOOT WOMAN – Women Wonder

There’s probably no other band that deals with the emotional experiences of women as well as ZOOT WOMAN do – lyrically as well as musically. The inventors of electro clash set new standards when reinventing the 1980s minimalistic synthetic aesthetics of their 2001 debut album Living in a Magazine. They did it in such an extraordinary way that the band’s brainchild, Stuart Price, was hired by MADONNA to give her a fresh sound.

4. Various Artists – Strong Girl

Nine of the most talented African artists teamed up and wrote an anthem celebrating women’s strength across the globe – What’s not to love?

3. THE STREETS – Weak become Heroes

Again: no list without THE STREETS. Mike Skinner, his distinctive lyrics and special style have influenced millions across the world. His album Original Pirate Material is the perfect record when you need a little encouragement. Weak become Heroes, in a way, is the hymn of the #WithStrongGirls hashtag.

2. DESTINY’S CHILD – Independent Women

The classic that clearly has to be included in every list about strong women. Independent Women was part of the soundtrack to the movie Charlie’s Angels and quickly became the theme song for all independent women. Message: strong women can do anything.

1. WILLIS EARL BEAL feat. CAT POWER – Coming Through
2015 is a crucial year for the future of the world. In September, the international community will agree on new global development goals and it will be important that at this meeting also women and girls are at the heart of all initiatives. Indeed, women and girls are the key to ending extreme poverty by 2030. There’s still a long way to go, but ‘the truth is coming through.’


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