“The past year has been defined by communities coming together tirelessly and heroically to tackle COVID-19. We’ve gathered tonight because the road ahead is getting brighter. But it’s going to take every one of us to find our way forward. As campaign chairs of Vax Live, my husband and I believe it’s critical that our recovery prioritizes the health, safety, and success of everyone, and particularly women, who have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic.
With the surge in gender-based violence, the increased responsibility of unpaid care work, and new obstacles that have reversed so much progress for women in the workplace, we’re at an inflection point for gender equity. Women, and especially women of color, have seen a generation of economic gain wiped out. Since the pandemic began, nearly five-and-a-half million women have lost work in the U.S., and 47 million women around the world are expected to slip into extreme poverty.
But if we work together to bring vaccines to every country and continent, insist that vaccines are equitably distributed and fairly priced, and ensure that governments around the world are donating their additional vaccines to countries in need, then we can begin to fully rebuild, not only to restore us to where we were before, but to go further and rapidly advance the conditions, opportunity, and mobility for women everywhere.
My husband and I are thrilled to soon be welcoming a daughter. It’s a feeling of joy we share with millions of other families around the world. When we think of her, we think of all the other families around the globe who must be given the ability and support to lead us forward. Their future leadership depends on the decisions we make and the actions we take now to set them up and to set all of us up for a successful, equitable, and compassionate tomorrow.
Now tonight we’ve had a reminder of the things we miss the most, be it music and sporting events, or just physical contact with family and friends, where we can sit together, laugh together and hug one another. Whatever it is, all circles back to the same thing: Connecting as a community. For most of us, this means our local community—our loved ones, our neighborhood, but let’s also think about our global community. Across the world, we’ve struggled together. Now, we deserve to heal together. We want to make sure that as we recover, we recover stronger, that as we rebuild, we rebuild together. Thank you.”