Anoushka Shankar features in ‘One Woman: A Song for UN Women’ launched on International Women’s Day


Celebrated Indian sitar player, Anoushka Shankar features in ‘One Woman: A Song for UN Women’ along with 25 artists in over 20 countries who participated to produce a song that speaks of change and celebrates the acts of women.

8 March 2013: “One Woman: A Song for UN Women” that was launched on International Women’s Day features celebrated Indian sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar. She is one of 25 artists in over 20 countries who donated their time and talent to produce the song.

Anoushka Shankar feels that the freedom that comes from art and that it has tremendous ability to reach across boundaries. “Being in a creative field is something very empowering. You tap into true freedom through being creative, through music, through dance. I think that can be very inspiring for other women to see if someone doesn’t have that freedom. To see a woman up on stage singing or performing can be very inspiring,” says Anoushka Shankar.

“Music reaches out and touches people, and connects in a way that it crosses boundaries that words cannot” says Anoushka Shankar in a special video where she speaks about how the song can empower women & girls

A musical celebration of women worldwide, the song calls for change and celebrates acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who daily make extraordinary contributions to their countries and communities. The lyrics are inspired by stories of women whom UN Women has supported, including the stories of elected women representatives from Jaipur.

UN Women is the UN organization charged with advancing women’s empowerment and gender equality worldwide. It began its work in 2011, the first new UN organization in decades. “One Woman” is the first theme song for a UN organization.

“One Woman gives us a message of hope and inspiration,” says UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet. “This song carries a message of unity and solidarity with women worldwide and reminds us that equality, human rights and human dignity are the birthright of all of us, every human being. I thank everyone who made this song possible.”

Singers and performers from all regions, women and men, donated their time and contributed their talent. They include: Ana Bacalhau (Portugal); Angelique Kidjo (Benin); Anoushka Shankar (India); Bassekou Kouyate (Mali); Bebel Gilberto (Brazil); Beth Blatt (US); Brian Finnegan (Ireland); Buika (Spain); Charice (Philippines); Cherine Amr (Egypt); Debi Nova (Costa Rica); Emeline Michel (Haiti); Fahan Hassan (UK); Idan Raichel (Israel); Jane Zhang (China); Jim Diamond (UK); Keith Murrell (UK); Lance Ellington (UK); Marta Gomez (Colombia); Maria Friedman (UK); Meklit Hadero (Ethiopia); Rokia Traoré (Mali); Vanessa Quai (Vanuatu); Ximena Sariñana (Mexico); Yuna (Malaysia).

Initially performed during the launch event for UN Women in the UN General Assembly Hall in 2011 and during the launch of UN Women in New Delhi in March 2011, “One Woman” aims to become a rallying cry that inspires listeners about the mission of UN Women and engages them to join in the drive for women’s empowerment and gender equality.

The music of the song is by Graham Lyle (Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and many other hits) and British/Somali singer-songwriter Fahan Hassan; the lyrics are by Beth Blatt. Jerry Boys – who has worked with a wide range of artists including REM, Everything But The Girl and was one of the people behind the Buena Vista Social Club recording – produced the song, together with executive producer Beth Blatt and her organization Hope Sings.

Microsoft, as UN Women’s corporate partner for “One Woman” has sponsored the song and music video production.The song will be available for purchase on the song website and all common channels like iTunes and Amazon for $0.99. All proceeds go directly to UN Women in support of its programmes to empower women on the ground.

The track is globally available for download on, together with the full song video and behind-the-scenes videos chronicling the song’s year-long production.

Advance music and video files for media review are available here:

Broadcast-quality versions can be requested from UN Women for use as of today. Please contact, +1-646-781-4706.