Helena Bonham Carter has joined the star-studded line-up of a London rally for gender equality ahead of International Women’s Day.
The actress will appear at the #March4Women event alongside Annie Lennox, Amanda Abbington, David Tennant, Sue Perkins, Helen Pankhurst and Beverley Knight.
Perkins will host the event in Westminster’s Central Hall on March 3, which will mark 100 years since the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act which permitted women to enter professions.
It will also celebrate the modern-day campaigners who have challenged the law to change things for women around the world ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8.
Bonham Carter will join Sherlock star Abbington, Coronation Street actress Nicola Thorp and West End actress Naana Agyei-Ampadu to read verbatim testimonies of survivors of workplace sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation from around the world.
The testimonies have been arranged by Cargo playwright and refugee rights activist Tess Berry-Hart.
Bonham Carter said: “I am privileged to be speaking at #March4Women. It’s so important to show solidarity with women and girls, not only in the UK but around the world.
“I’ll be sharing the words of women who aren’t able to be there themselves, because they are working in factories, construction sites or as domestic workers, in conditions that leave them vulnerable to exploration and abuse.
“Sexual harassment isn’t in anyone’s job description.
“It’s over 100 years ago since we won the vote. Yet there’s a lot to do yet to win respect in every corner of the world…
“We’ll be celebrating the feminist activists who have changed the world for the better, and joining the call for gender equality.”
Lennnox, Pankhurst and Tennant will all give speeches, alongside Lady Hale, president of the UK Supreme Court, campaigner Shola Mos-Shogbamimu and Mexican labour rights activist Marcelina Bautista.
Knight, Imelda May, Urban Voices Collective, and string quartet Bond will perform music produced by composer David Arnold.
The event, organised by charity CARE International UK, will also see BBC Radio 4 broadcaster Jane Garvey host a panel of activists who have successfully campaigned to change the law to make life safer for women and girls.
Speakers will include Gina Martin, the activist who fronted the campaign to make upskirting a criminal offence; Shaista Gohir, from Muslim Women’s Network, which campaigned for the abolition of repatriation fees imposed on women escaping forced marriages; and anti-female genital mutilation campaigner Leyla Hussein, who will reflect on the first conviction for FGM in the UK.
Hussein said: “Although the #Metoo movement has been great, the voices of black women are still not heard … tremendous work still needs to be done in getting justice for ALL women and including black women and girls in the fight against sexual violence.”
CARE International will use the event to call for a global law to protect women worldwide from sexual harassment, violence and abuse in the workplace.
Lennox said: “#March4Women is an opportunity to become part of the global feminist movement for human rights and justice for women and girls around the world. Every one of us is a change agent.”
Tickets are available through the CARE International website.