Janet Jackson made a moving speech about inequality after receiving the Global Icon Award at the MTV European Music Awards on Sunday night in Bilbao, Spain.
"I accept this award with deep gratitude," she told the audience after being introduced by singers Jason DeRulo and Camila Cabello. "To be called an icon is a tremendous honor, but it comes with tremendous responsibility. Today I am moved to speak for women whose voices have been stifled."
"I'm one of those women," she continued. "Women who have been gagged, both literally and emotionally, women who have been abused, women who have been intimated, women who have lived in fear, I am with you, you are my sisters."
His speech was received with continuous applause from many men and women in the crowd. She described the prospect of a promising future for all women.
"Today I carry the hope that a new world is emerging," she said. "A world in which the caregivers – both men and women – will no longer tolerate gender inequality, women – our voices will be heard, we will be heard when we speak for justice."
She made a passionate call for women to use their voices and speak out against injustice.
"Speak for a spirit that crosses all borders, recognize the dignity of all people and affirm the beauty of all faiths," she said. "Speak for acts of true charity, small and great, speak for a comprehensive love because it is the love that will heal our wounds, the love that will give us strength to help each other."
She thanked the fans and God and expressed her love for her 1-year-old son, Eissa. "Let's start our voices. Let's start today and let the ever-surprising love of God lead the way," he concluded.
In addition to his acceptance speech, Jackson also presented a collection of some of his greatest hits, including "Rhythm Nation" and "All for You," along with his 2018 song "Made for Now."
Singer Missy Elliot paid tribute to the singer on Twitter, writing "Every prize you receive @JanetJackson you WORKED for it and deserves it !!! COLLATE YOURSELF YOU ARE A GLOBAL ICON and you and your family have done so much for CULTURE! that you still INSPIRE many people through your music and style and performance 40 YEARS LATER! "
Every prize you receive @JanetJackson you have worked for this and DESERVE !!! COLETE YOUR THING ?????? Are you a GLOBAL ICON ???? and you and your family have done so much for CULTURE! That's why you still INSPIRE many people through your music and style and performance 40 YEARS LATER! We ?? u https://t.co/FvJw2N87Uw
– Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) November 5, 2018
Jackson has talked about gender discrimination before. At the 2018 Global Citizen Festival, she described the abuses of power to which she was subjected.
"Like millions of other women out there, I know about bullying," she told the crowd. "I know about verbal abuse.I know about physical abuse.I know about abuse of authority."
"I am sick, I am disgusted, I am infuriated by the double standards that continue to treat women as second-class citizens," she continued. "Fair enough injustice, fanaticism, maltreatment and irrational prejudice have to stop – and stop now, Equality is our demand, action is our response."
Later Jackson posted an image on the Instagram of the MTV European Music Awards, expressing his appreciation for the award.
She also shared an image alongside Cabello, who also had great success, taking home four awards.