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The Duchess of Sussex to join panel discussion with The Queen's Commonwealth Trust on International Women's Day

On Friday 8th March The Duchess of Sussex will join a panel discussion convened by The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust to mark International Women’s Day. The event, hosted at King’s College London, will bring together a special panel of female thought-leaders and activists to discuss a range of issues affecting women today.

Those joining The Duchess for this unique panel include Annie Lennox OBE, founder of The Circle, an organisation supporting and empowering women’s lives around the world; Adwoa Aboah, founder of Gurls Talk, an open community where young girls can talk about the issues that matter to them; Julia Gillard, Former Prime Minister of Australia and Chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London; Chrisann Jarrett, Founder of Let us Learn; and Angeline Murimirwa, Executive Director of the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) in Africa and co-founder of CAMA, a pan-African network of young female leaders. The panel will be chaired by Anne McElvoy, Senior Editor of The Economist.

In front of an audience of students, opinion formers and young leaders, Her Royal Highness will join the panel to discuss the importance of International Women’s Day, and the spotlight it can bring to obstacles which still affect female empowerment across the world, including access to education and limitations within employment. The discussion will also cover the positive opportunities that come when women are given wider access and equal opportunity, whether that be in the UK or elsewhere in the world.

The panel will be hosted by The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, an organisation which exists to champion, fund and connect young leaders around the world who are serving their communities, providing solutions to problems, and hope, employment and self-employment opportunities for others. The Trust, of which Her Majesty The Queen is Patron and The Duke of Sussex President, is working in partnership with a number of organisations to reach and connect with young people worldwide, and support those that are the most vulnerable.

You can keep across the #IWDxQCT event by following us on our social channels: Twitter: @queenscomtrust Instagram: @queens_commonwealth_trust Facebook: @queenscommonwealthtrust

Full details of the panel line-up below.

Annie Lennox OBE

Named as one of The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine, internationally acclaimed singer, songwriter, performer and Human Rights activist, Annie Lennox rose to fame in partnership with Dave Stewart as ‘Eurythmics’ in the early 1980’s with the classic album “Sweet Dreams are Made of This.” Followed by a decade of exceptional global success, she branched off to become a notable artist in her own right. Since then, Annie Lennox has received numerous accolades in recognition of her contribution to the music business, including 8 BRIT Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement), 4 Ivor Novello Awards, 3 MTV Awards, 4 Grammy Awards, 26 ASCAP Awards, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.

She has been awarded fellowships from some of the world’s most prestigious music institutions, including The British Academy of Songwriters, The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Berklee College of Music and The Musicians Company.

Annie Lennox received the Nobel Woman of Peace Award at the 10th Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in 2009 for her work on HIV/AIDS prevention and control focused on women and children - and was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours in 2011 for her humanitarian work. Her leadership on humanitarian issues has been recognized with doctorates and fellowships from the world’s leading academic institutions, notably with the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, where she was awarded the Livingstone Medal. In 2017 Annie became the first Female Chancellor for Glasgow Caledonian University.

In 2008, she founded ‘The Circle,’ which became an official charitable non-governmental organisation in 2015. The Circle aims to inspire, support and amplify awareness of the issues experienced by some of the world’s most disempowered women and girls - in order to change and challenge the injustices they face.

Adwoa Aboah

Recently honoured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Europe list for 2019, 26-year- old Adwoa Aboah is the co-founder of the highly influential and respected forum Gurls Talk, which acts as an open social platform for women to discuss an array of topics and experiences in a safe and judgement-free environment.

Adwoa’s work with Gurls Talk is expansive; from global events already held in Italy, Poland, Turkey, USA, UK and soon Ghana and France, to hosting the weekly Gurls Talk Podcast and commanding policy change in the UK on period poverty. Adwoa’s voice and action have made a huge impact on the lives of women and girls around the world.

Aboah grew up in West London with her parents and sister. During her youth, she was a member of the prestigious National Youth Theatre, then went on to study at Brunel University and the New York Film Academy. With an unwavering interest in visual and performance art, Aboah was drawn to the idea of modelling as a means by which to explore character development, leading to her first editorial for i-D Magazine.

Since then, Aboah’ s extensive editorial portfolio includes stories for the American, British, Spanish, German, Italian, Mexican, and Teen editions of Vogue, along with W, Document Journal, Out of Order, and i-D magazine. She has starred on the covers of American, Spanish, Italian and Mexican Vogue, LOVE, and most notably, Edward Enninful’s first edition of British Vogue and Time Magazine, where she was crowned a ‘Next Generation Leader’.

Named 2017’s Model of The Year by The British Fashion Council as a personality standing firm in her beliefs, Adwoa has become in-demand for an array of fashion houses and brands aiming to show their support of her social initiatives and philanthropy endeavours by featuring her in their advertising campaigns. This includes Burberry, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Dior, Giorgio Armani, John Hardy, Marc Jacobs, Nike, Revlon and Miu Miu.

Julia Gillard AC

Julia is Patron of CAMFED, Chair of the Global Partnership for Education, and Chair of the Global Institute for Women's Leadership at King's College. Julia also serves as Chair of Beyond Blue, which is committed to helping Australians understand and manage anxiety and depression, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow with the Centre for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution, and serves as an Honorary Professor at the University of Adelaide.

Julia Gillard was Prime Minister of Australia from 2010 to 2013 and is the first woman to ever serve in that role.

In recognition of her public service, Julia was awarded a Companion in the Order of Australia in January 2017.

Angeline Murimirwa

Angeline Murimirwa is Executive Director of the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) in Africa and co-founder of CAMA, CAMFED’s alumnae, a powerful pan-African network of young women leaders, now numbering 120,000 members across Zimbabwe, Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia and Malawi.

Angeline was one of the first beneficiaries of bursary support from CAMFED and so represents CAMA’s deep lived experience of poverty and the threat this poses to girls and young women in rural communities. Now she oversees the work of CAMFED across five countries in Africa and works alongside the UK based Chief Executive, Lucy Lake, in driving forward the vision, mission and strategy of CAMFED and positioning CAMA as a powerful force for development. CAMA’s leaders are stepping up to unite their communities in a collective effort to change the status quo for women and girls, making the world a safer, healthier, and more prosperous place for all of us.

Angeline served on the Board of the Zimbabwe National Youth Council. In 2017, the Clara Lionel Foundation presented Angeline with the 2017 Diamond Ball Honors Award, recognising her past, present and future support of young leaders, entrepreneurship and civic engagement. In 2018, Angeline and a group of CAMA leaders from across five countries met with the Duke of Sussex in Lusaka, Zambia, for a special event organized by The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust in celebration of what young change-makers are achieving in their communities.

Chrisann Jarrett

Chrisann Jarrett, 24, is founder of an equal access to higher education campaign called Let Us Learn in 2014. She recently graduated with a law degree from LSE. The campaign has grown from 3 young people to over 1000 with 25 active volunteers.

In 2015 she helped to collate evidence and submitted them in an Intervention in the Supreme Court R v Tigere, a case which led to a national change in the student finance rules for young migrants. In 2016 the campaign launched a scholarship campaign (Young, Gifted and Blocked) which subsequently led to over 16 universities widening their scholarship criteria to include young migrants with unsettled status.

Chrisann works part-time on Let Us Learn and is currently seconded to Greater London Authority as a Policy Advisor working with the Deputy Mayor of London for Social Integration.

Chrisann has spoken at the United Nations IDM in New York, speaking to dignitaries about the importance of youth and ensuring mechanisms for true participation in migration governance using her experience at City Hall and Let Us Learn to anchor her suggestions on best practice.

Chair: Anne McElvoy

Anne McElvoy is Senior Editor of the Economist and was its global Policy Editor from 2010-16. She writes on political and international affairs and runs Economist Radio, the company’s audio arm.

Anne has also written weekly politics column for the Evening Standard for 15 years and was previously Executive Editor for a decade. A presenter of Start the Week on BBC Radio4, the Moral Maze and Free Thinking for the BBC, she is an experienced live broadcaster and series maker of political history and current affairs.

She has a First Class Honours Degree in German and Philosophy from Wadham College, Oxford and studied at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Her two books on modern Germany, include an international best-seller, Memoirs of a Spymaster, Markus Wolf. As The Times’s correspondent in East Berlin, she reported the fall of the Berlin Wall. Subsequently she covered the Yugoslavia and Chechnya wars and was the paper’s bureau chief in Moscow during the rise of Vladimir Putin. Anne received the Journalist of the Year/Women in Public Life award in 2015. She is an education board member of the World Economic Forum at Davos and the education and digital planning board of the Royal Opera House in London.

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