Bestselling author – 8 July 2014
***WARNING: This video contains some sexual references and outspoken views (which do not necessarily reflect those of Plan). It's a fun and feisty watch, but the tone of the event was similar to Kathy Lette's writing, which she describes as "the way women talk when there's no men around".***
Outspoken author Kathy Lette joined host Emma Barnett at the University Women's Club, London, where she entertained an invited audience during a witty, laughter-filled yet thought-provoking evening.
Emma's probing questions covered a whole host of topics, from Kathy's Aussie upbringing to her recent experiences on an eye-opening trip to the favelas of Brazil. Along the way they took in feminism, contraception and the menopause.
But the event's serious undertone conveyed a powerful message as Kathy related her experiences in Brazil – a visit that enabled her to see at first hand the challenges that girls and women face in impoverished communities. For Kathy, education is key to breaking the poverty cycle – but teaching girls about sexual health and contraception is equally important. As she eloquently put it, "the only way to break the cycle of poverty is to break the menstrual cycle."
Kathy also stressed that ending sexual violence against girls is vital. She described how, on her trip, she met girls whose daily journey to school put them at risk of rape. "It was so dangerous for them that they simply stopped going."
These encounters reinforced her desire to stand up for girls' rights, because she is "sick and tired of women being runners-up in the human race".
But the tone of the evening remained heartwarming and often hilarious, showing that humour can convey a powerful message. Kathy also proved definitely that feminism can be funny with some memorable one-liners ("my mother taught me never to pick my nose, especially not from a catalogue").
It was a hugely successful night, enjoyed by a lively audience who left feeling 'empowered and inspired', in the words of one attendee.
The talk was introduced by Youth Advisory Panel member June, 15, who also spoke eloquently about Plan UK's work, showing how young people are at the forefront of the campaign for girls' rights.
Plan UK CEO Tanya Barron closed the talk, asking guests to stand up for girls' rights by joining Plan's International's Because I am a Girl campaign.
With many thanks to Kathy and Emma.