This article originally appeared in Songlines #91 (April/May 2013) p15. Download a pdf here.
UN organisation launches its official anthem for the empowerment of women
The first UN agency to have its own theme song, UN Women released its official anthem on International Women’s Day (March 8).
Initially performed as the finale of the UN Women launch event in 2011, ‘One Woman’ has become anthem for the UN organisation dedicated to gender equality issues and the empowerment of women. ‘One Woman’ was composed by Graham Lyle and British-Somali singer-songwriter Faham Hassan while the lyrics were penned by Beth Blatt, founder of the charity Hope Sings.
The song was inspired by the stories of women who had been supported by UN Women and the agency hopes that ‘One Woman’ ‘will become a rallying cry that inspires listeners about the mission of UN Women and engages them to join in the drive for women’s rights and gender equality.’ Jerry Boys, who has produced albums by Ali Farka Touré, Buena Vista Social Club and Omara Portuondo, produced the song with Blatt. Among the participating artists are some Songlines favourites: cover star Rokia Traoré; Songlines Music Awards 2013 nominee Angélique Kidjo; and sitar player Anoushka Shankar. Other contributors include Zhang Liangying (China), Ximena Sarinana (Mexico), Yuna (Malaysia, pictured) and Vanessa Quai (Vanuatu).
The song is now available as a download through iTunes and Amazon.