Highlights From the United State of Women Summit
On Tuesday, nearly 5,000 guests attended the United State of Women Summit in Washington, D.C., for a 12-hour long conference that featured incredible speakers from MAKERS like Nancy Pelosi and Lilly Ledbetter, to Sophia Bush and Billie Jean King.
A day of empowerment and inspiration, the summit, convened by First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, was a compilation of stories and speeches from dozens of leaders rallying together to push for progress in gender equality issues in the U.S. and around the world.
For those unable to attend the event or watch the live stream, don't fret. Read on for some of the best moments.
1. Vice President Joe Biden emphasizes the importance of equality of men and women and putting an end to sexual assault
"There's not a single solitary thing that a man can do that woman can't as well. I mean that in the literal sense. Every single solitary thing a man can do a woman can do as well." — Joe Biden
2. Mariska Hargitay, founder of The Joyful Heart Foundation, speaks out to put an end to violence against women (VAW) and change negative societal norms
When women thrive—free from violence, w/ education, economic empowerment, access to healthcare—we all do. Proud to be part of #StateOfWomen
— Joyful Heart (@TheJHF) June 14, 2016
"It's going to take enough people in enough communities to say 'enough is enough.'" —Mariska Hargitay
3. Matt McGorry of "How To Get Away With Murder" and Quentin Walcott show why it's necessary for males to join the movement to end VAW
A beautiful event at #StateOfWomen in DC by @whitehouse . We had the great honor of speaking to 5,000 people for a few minutes about the necessity of male allyship in ending violence against women. @quentinwalcott (on the left) is on the frontlines of this work, and meets directly with abusers in NYC to stop them from harming women. Wonderfully, @violadavis and #DrSallyMacNichol provided us with quotes and their guidance as well. What a day. Check out Quentin's work at ConnectNYC.org
"What can men do to support women's issues? Have our backs and listen." —Matt McGorry on behalf of Viola Davis
4. Meghan Yap (who introduced VP Joe Biden), Shaquil Keels, and Jessica Davidson tell their personal stories on behalf of "It's On Us"
"Sexual assault makes me mad. And I hope it makes you mad too." —Jessica Davidson
5. Jaha Dukureh, Founder and CEO of Safe Hands for Girls, shares her powerful story of her female genital mutilation (FGM) and her fight to end it once and for all
— Girl Up (@GirlUp) June 14, 2016
"Until the education of a girl is a right and not a privilege, we are failing our women." —Jaha Dukureh
6. Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, and Grecia Magdaleno push for reproductive equity for women
"We need to rewrite narratives of shame into narratives of power." —Grecia Magdaleno
7. Carolyn Miles, President and CEO of Save the Children, raises hope to drastically reduce new mother and child mortality rates
— Carolyn Miles (@carolynsave) June 14, 2016
"Keeping girls in school is a key issue in breaking the cycle of poverty." — Carolyn Miles
8. Dr. Sonia Vallabh and Dr. Eric Minikel of Prion Alliance discuss Vallabh's fatal genetic disease, their research efforts to find a cure, and the importance of women in science
— Broad Institute (@broadinstitute) June 14, 2016
9. Patricia Arquette and Lilly Ledbetter push for equal pay so a woman’s salary can no longer be any different from that of a man in the same position
— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) June 14, 2016
"We need more women in Congress and we need more women at the top." — Lilly Ledbetter
10. Kerry Washington takes a stand against domestic abuse with the Purple Purse campaign, urging you to join the #FreeToWalk movement
11. Seina Lee of Johnson & Johnson reveals her powerful story of how 17-week paid work leave saved her and helped her grow her family
12. U.S. Representative and House Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi, discusses the progress women in government have made, encouraging us to push for even more progress
"Let us draw inspiration from each other and... inspiration from how far we've come together." —Nancy Pelosi
13. Introduced by the adorable entrepreneur Mikaila Ulmer of Me & the Bees Lemonade, President Barack Obama gives a profound speech and tells the crowd that, despite his graying hair, "this is what feminist looks like"
"It's not just about the Benjamins, it's about the Tubmans too. These women aren't just for Women's History Month." —President Barack Obama
14. Sophia Bush discusses the importance of education for girls and interviews the 11-year-old Founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks, Marley Dias, about her movement to bring diverse stories to schools across the country
— UN Women (@UN_Women) June 14, 2016
15. Founder of Amy Poehler's Smart Girls, Amy Poehler, encourages you to let go of gender stereotypes
"Let us drive and we will get there faster and quicker." —Amy Poehler
16. Michelle Obama and Oprah encourage you to know yourself and your worth
"Our first job in life as women is to get to know ourselves... I wanted to wake up inspired— to do something greater than myself." —Michelle Obama to Oprah Winfrey
Photo Credit: Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images