‘Making Noise’: The Path Towards Global Equality
As Claire Underwood, she plays the villain we hate to love on House of Cards. But off-screen, Robin Wright lends her voice for social change, advocating for gender equality and to put a stop to violence against women and children. On our first dialogue, Robin joined us for a discussion on human rights, gender equality and the documentary she narrated, “When Elephants Fight,” out in May.
What struggles are faced by mothers in today’s workplace? How has our demand for consumer electronics fueled the conflict in the Congo? These and other questions were the topic of our inaugural episode of Insight Dialogues, which kicked off on Tuesday, May 17th.
A strong advocate of gender equity, Robin was quick to point out the need for women to advocate for equal pay—citing her own example as the female lead of the leading Netflix original House of Cards:
I said: “I want to be paid the same as Kevin.” Because House of Cards is one of very few films or TV shows where the patriarch and the matriarch are equal. Statistically there was a period of time in a recent season when Claire Underwood’s character was more popular than his. So I capitalized on that moment and said, “You better pay me or I’m going to go public.” And they did.
This resonated strongly with Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin, with the Foundation having recently launched its 100×25 initiative aimed at achieving gender inclusivity in the workplace.
Did You Know:
- Women are typically paid 82 percent of what their male counterparts earn. [Share]
- Over six million people have died in the conflict in the Congo—the worst since World War II. [Share]
- Minerals sourced for technology can inadvertently fund conflicts in the DRC. [Share]
Robin went on to spotlight her work with Stand With Congo, which aims to address the plight of Congolese women, who have for years been the victims of mental and physical abuse, not to mention perilous work conditions extracting minerals that are used in consumer electronic devices. In the words of the women themselves, “We have a natural resource that is a curse for us.”
And I was holding my cell phone at the time saying goodnight to my daughter, and realizing that the minerals coming out of the Congo that were housed in this device that, uh, we use every day for our convenience—I was holding war in my hand, and violence against women.
When asked what advice she would have for the women watching the episode her answer was simple: “You have to make noise.”