Bono has written a new op-ed for Time in which he calls on men and male leaders to reduce gender inequality.
The 57-year-old U2 frontman said that men and women need to work together to solve the problem.
“Men can’t step back and leave it to women alone to clean up the mess we’ve made and are still making,” Bono wrote. “Misogyny, violence, and poverty are problems we can’t solve at half-strength, which is the way we’ve been operating for a few millennia now.”
He also credited his wife Ali, and daughters, Eve and Jordan, with opening his eyes to the degree of sexism inherent in poverty. “As Jordan reminds me, there is nowhere on earth where women have the same opportunity as men,” Bono said. “Nowhere. Which has something to do with the fact that around the world, there are 130 million girls who are not in school.”
“Denying girls what an education offers – a fair shot, a path out of poverty – means that women can work the land but can’t own it; they can earn the money but can’t bank it,” he explained. “This is why poverty is sexist.”
Bono also outlined the ways in which combatting sexism through giving girls education is actually an investment in the future. “When you invest in girls and women, they rise and they lift their families, their communities, their economies and countries along with them.”
While acknowledging that fighting poverty won’t completely eliminate sexism, Bono urged action. “There are 130 million girls counting on women and men to get our collective act together, push for better policies and pressure politicians to do more and fund more of what works,” he wrote.
Actress Ambert Tamblyn tweeted at Bono, applauding him for standing up and calling on men to take action.