In an interesting turn of events after having her feminist credentials questioned recently, pop superstar Beyonce has penned an open essay on the subject of gender equality on behalf of The Shriver Report’s recent findings that 42 million American women are living in poverty.

Despite telling British Vogue in May 2013 that she refuses to call herself a ‘feminist’ due to its connotations – “That word can be very extreme,” she claimed – Beyonce has now written a call to action in her essay titled Gender Equality Is A Myth! which will be part of a forthcoming e-book written by a selection of influential females like Hilary Rodham Clinton, Eva Longoria and Jada Pinkett Smith.

“We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality,” Beyonce insists. “It isn’t a reality yet. Today, women make up half of the US workforce, but the average working woman earns only 77% of what the average working man makes. But unless women and men both say this is unacceptable, things will not change. Men have to demand that their wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters earn more – commensurate with their qualifications and not their gender. Equality will be achieved when men and women are granted equal pay and equal respect.

“Humanity requires both men and women, and we are equally important and need one another,” she continues. “So why are we viewed as less than equal? These old attitudes are drilled into us from the very beginning. We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible. We have a lot of work to do, but we can get there if we work together.

The e-book will also feature a host of A-list males who have been drafted to show their support as well, including NBA star LeBron James, who praises his own mother in a self-penned essay called America’s Working Single Mothers: An Appreciation.

“I am honoured to participate in a project that is trying to help single mothers who are struggling to make a living and raise their kids, because that perfectly described my mother when I was growing up,” James writes. “You think LeBron James is a champion? Gloria James is a champion too. She’s my champion.”

The full e-book will be available for download until Wednesday 15 January from The Shriver Report website.