On October 8 and 9, an exciting roster of irreverent and inspiring speakers from across the globe will convene at the Women in the World Summit in London. Among the event’s featured guests are lawmakers, activists, actors, and sports stars — an array of fascinating women who are shaking up the entertainment industry, tackling the refugee crisis, and even bringing an end to war.
Several firebrands of Europe’s political scene are slated to take the stage during the summit. Germany’s Federal Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen will shed light on her country’s shifting and complex role in global security. Theresa May, the longest serving home secretary in England, will speak to host Tina Brown about her historic tenure. Nicola Sturgeon will join Sir Harold Evans to discuss her experience as the first woman to become First Minister of Scotland, and the first woman to serve as leader of the Scottish National Party. Twenty-one-year-old Scottish MP Mhairi Black will address her impassioned maiden speech in the House of Commons, which has been viewed over 10 millions times.
Meryl Streep and director Sarah Gavron will weigh in on their new film Suffragette, which pays tribute to the militant activists who paved the way for women like May and Sturgeon. But the fight for equal rights is far from over, and Catherine Mayer — co-founder and president of the Women’s Equality Party — will shed light on why her political group is quickly gaining steam across the UK.
Also appearing onstage will be a slew of young women at the top of their game — sometimes quite literally. Eniola Aluko, one of England’s top female footballers, will chat about her sport of choice and her inspiring influence on young women. Supermodel/Instagram sensation/up-and-coming actress Cara Delevingne will speak to Rupert Everett about her meteoric rise to fame, and her complicated feelings towards the industry that made her a star. And Bollywood star Kangana Ranaut will share how she rose to the heights of the industry by shattering societal norms.
Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman will discuss her experience playing Rosalind Franklin — a British geneticist who was a crucial to early DNA research, but was shut out of a Nobel Prize — on London’s West End.
With the “migrant crisis” at the forefront of international concern, Queen Rania of Jordan will speak about the impact of millions of war refugees having surged across her country’s borders. Zaina Erhaim, a heroic female journalist from Aleppo, will describe her experience documenting the war in Syria. She will be joined by Mervat Alsman, a Syrian refugee who will open up about her hellish escape to the UK.
Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee will discuss her role in creating an interfaith coalition of women that helped bring an end to the Second Liberian Civil War. As conflict waged throughout her country, Gbowee gathered Muslim and Christian women together to form Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, a movement that resisted war through sit-ins and sex strikes. “[T]he myth that every African woman is a victim is something that needs to end,” Gbowee said in an interview with Women in the World. “People should look at the spirit of the African woman, the tenacity of the African woman.”
Three years after Gbowee took home the Nobel Peace Prize, Malala Yousafzai became the youngest person in history to receive the same honor. During the Women in the World Summit, anthropologist and filmmaker Samar Minallah Khan will sit down with two of Malala’s most ardent supporters: her parents. Ziauddin and Toor Pekai Yousafzai will open up about the values they instilled in their daughter, and the challenges of forging a new life in the wake of Taliban brutality.