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Women musicians band together for Oxfam and International Women’s Day

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Iconic musician Mavis Staples accepts an award for her support of Oxfam at a concert in LA last month. Photo: Wendy Le
Iconic musician Mavis Staples accepts an award for her support of Oxfam America at a concert in LA last month. Photo: Wendy Le

Tegan and Sara and Ra Ra Riot are tweeting about it. Neko Case is posting about it on Facebook. What’s generating the buzz?  An incredible gathering of women musicians—from legendary rockers to up-and-coming new artists—who’ve come together to support Oxfam America ’s efforts around International Women’s Day.

March 8 is recognized globally as a day of celebration of women, and at Oxfam we see it as an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of women to the planet’s social, economic, and political well-being. As my colleague Heather Coleman writes in a recent blog post, “Women work tirelessly to produce the majority of food in many developing countries … annd they’re producing food in the face of increasing natural resource constraints, erratic growing seasons, and rising global temperatures. … Women’s empowerment, in the US and globally, is not and must not be a partisan issue.  ”

Because Oxfam is fortunate enough to work with a multitude of smart and talented female musicians, we thought it would be meaningful to assemble as many of these women together as we could, asking them to pledge their support for women who are working with Oxfam to combat hunger around the world.

After I sent out the original requests, emails started coming back quickly—dozens of messages of support and approval. As the list grew, I quickly realized how amazing they’d look all on one page. We’ve got support from current chart-toppers like Keri Hilson and Jenny Conlee of The Decemberists, and Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Mavis Staples and Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club.  There are the legendary voices of Sarah McLachlan and Cyndi Lauper, and indie icons Amanda Palmer, Neko Case, Kelley Deal of The Breeders, and Tegan and Sara. Musicians known for their activism like Angelique Kidjo, Rosanne Cash, and Thao Nguyen (who also appears in our new video) have signed on too.

To see the rest of the list, go to www.oxfamamerica.org/womenrock.  I can almost guarantee that you’ll find the name of a woman musician who you admire.  And while you are there, please add your name to theirs in support of poor women around the world. It’s an easy and meaningful way to celebrate International Women’s Day. Then, help us spread the word by sharing the list with other fans and friends.

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