Glamour magazine has included U2’s vocalist Bono on its “Women of the Year” list due to his contributions toward women’s rights.
Although it may symbolize a call for gender equality, most have met the decision with disgust, even when he has been described as “one of the most outspoken and effective advocates for women and girls.” When Bono was contacted by Glamour magazine, he confessed that he did not deserve the nomination but was grateful and commented that men must also fight for gender equality.
Bono’s millionaire charity work
Bono has worked directly in Africa to help get HIV drugs to infected people. He has personally met some of the patients and has learned from first-hand that for most Africans, HIV infection is a death sentence.
According to Glamour, at least 17 million people living in sub-Saharan Africa are surviving thanks to AIDS drugs. This number marks an astounding difference when considering the 300,000 that were accounted for in 2000. This is mainly due to Bono and the One Foundation he helped co-found over ten years ago.
One of his most renown women’s rights campaign is “Poverty is Sexist.” It proposes that nowhere on the planet, women have the same opportunities as men.
Bono assures that women are always less likely than men to have safe sources of basic needs, including water, health care, and education. He also says that laws are far from being overreaching and protective from gender-oriented violence.
Cindi Leive, Glamour’s editor-in-chief, argues that Bono has chosen to help the efforts that seek to allow women to enjoy the same rights and opportunities as men.
CNN’s Christianne Amanpour, who was chosen as a 2005 Woman of the Year, also went ahead to defend Bono’s selection as a Woman of the Year.
Bono argues that the reason why men are still not fully pledged to fight for women’s rights is that they are “a bit thick,” as he included himself in the comment.
“We can do much more than we think we can. Leaders are accountable to all of us. If they don’t support women and girls, vote them out of office. To quote Nelson Mandela, ‘It always seems impossible—until it’s done,” he said to Glamour.
Media outlets have labeled Bono’s response to the nomination as patronizing, while fellow philanthropists have approved his selection as Woman of the Year.
“Finally, men doing things for women! It’s what the struggle has been all about. Give that man a round of applause,” wrote Suzanne Moore for The Guardian.
Donating millions of dollars and going in person to Africa to help fight an endemic disease that causes the death of thousands is just one of the things that Bono is being awarded for, even when some men and women would not recognize his charity work.