Beyonce has gone from watching YouTube videos on feminism – which is how she discovered Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who is featured in her new song “Flawless” – to becoming a voice for change on her own.
In a new report produced by Maria Shriver, “A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink,” Beyonce addresses the issue of equal pay in the workforce in an essay entitled “Gender Equality Is A Myth!” The report also includes writing by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Sheryl Sandberg, LeBron James, Jennifer Garner and Jada Pinkett Smith. Download the entire report here and read Beyonce”s excerpt below.
We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality. It isn”t a reality yet. Today, women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but the average working woman earns only 77 percent of what the average working man makes. But unless women and men both say this is unacceptable, things will not change. Men have to demand that their wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters earn more-commensurate with their qualifications and not their gender. Equality will be achieved when men and women are granted equal pay and equal respect.
Humanity requires both men and women, and we are equally important and need one another. So why are we viewed as less than equal? These old attitudes are drilled into us from the very beginning. We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.
We have a lot of work to do, but we can get there if we work together. Women are more than 50 percent of the population and more than 50 percent of voters. We must demand that we all receive 100 percent of the opportunities.
Beyonce”s new self-titled album explores feminism through a personal lens. Below, watch her talk about the making of the album in part four of her behind-the-scenes videos, “Liberation,” and check out a snippet of the video for “Flawless.”