Video: Avon Commits Over $1.75 Million For New Partnerships To End Violence Against Women

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4th March 2009, 08:33am - Views: 787





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Video: Avon Commits Over $1.75 Million for New Partnerships to End Violence

Against Women


WASHINGTON, Mar. 4 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --


           Establishes new Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at

                             Cornell Law School


           Makes Additional Contributions to the UN Trust Fund to End

                           Violence Against Women


           Award-Winning Actress Reese Witherspoon Launches New Global

                            Mobilization Efforts


    One in three women worldwide experience violence in their lifetime(1),

and in the U.S., a woman is assaulted every nine seconds(2). Around the

world, services for victims are often vastly underfunded or unavailable, and

in many countries, laws to protect women do not exist or are not enforced.


    To view the Multimedia News Release, go to:



    In response, the Avon Foundation for Women today announced meaningful new

efforts to eradicate violence against women and help ensure justice for all

women worldwide. This included a $1.5 million grant by the Avon Foundation

for Women to launch the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at Cornell

Law School. This new center will focus on working with judges, legal

professionals, governmental and non-governmental organizations to improve

access to justice in an effort to eliminate violence against women and girls.

Avon also expanded its relationship with the United Nations Development Fund

for Women (UNIFEM) with a new commitment of $250,000 for the UN Trust Fund

to End Violence against Women, which will be added to the grant of $1

million awarded in 2008 for the Trust Fund. This brings the total Avon global

commitment to ending violence against women to over $14 million to date.


    "For over 120 years, Avon has provided women with economic opportunity

while serving as a change agent for critical issues that face women

worldwide," stated Andrea Jung, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Avon

Products, Inc. "Lack of financial resources and lack of personal safety are

two reinforcing, co-dependent crises. We are so proud to help bring attention

to eradicating violence against women and improving access to justice for

women and girls, and to award new grants that will help launch initiatives to

change lives around the globe."


    The announcements of these new initiatives were made by Andrea Jung, who

was joined by Stewart Schwab, Dean and Professor of Law of Cornell Law

School, during the Global Forum for Women and Justice. Also joining were

former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor; Joan Winship, Executive

Director of the International Association of Women Judges; and Reese

Witherspoon, award-winning actress, Avon Global Ambassador and Avon

Foundation for Women Honorary Chairperson. Hosted by the International

Association of Women Judges (with support from Avon), the Global Forum for

Women and Justice is a two-day meeting held in Washington D.C. of judges and

legal practitioners from around the world to address obstacles and solutions

to the issue of violence against women.


    Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at Cornell Law School

    The new Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at Cornell Law School

Community Charity Avon Products, Inc. 3 image

will undertake four major initiatives, including intensive legal clinical

projects, providing legal research for judges, hosting conferences and

events, and maintaining an extensive international online library, as well as

a discussion forum for judges relating to gender-based violence. The Avon

Global Center, which will launch this fall, will serve as a forum for judges

and legal practitioners to share ideas and strategies on the role of the

judicial system in facilitating access to justice for women victims of

violence.


    "The Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at Cornell Law School is

the first center of its kind to work with judges worldwide in an effort to

bring justice to women survivors of violence," said Barbara Holden Smith,

Vice Dean of Cornell Law School.


    "This is a historic moment. The Center is prepared to address the

epidemic of violence against women and girls, and to work toward greater

justice for those who have survived such violence."


    Avon's Grassroots Mobilization to End Violence Against Women

    These new efforts underscore Avon's ongoing commitment to ending violence

against women, which includes the Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program

launched by Avon and the Avon Foundation for Women in 2004. These efforts

have expanded to 45 countries, including award-winning Avon programs in

Mexico and the Czech Republic. The company is also partnering with local

UNIFEM offices on the issue of violence against women in 13 countries. Behind

the success of these initiatives are much-needed grassroots mobilization and

fundraising, which are assets Avon brings to global philanthropy, driven by

the company's network of nearly 6 million Avon Sales Representatives

worldwide.


    Reese Witherspoon, award-winning actress, Avon global ambassador and

honorary chairperson of the Avon Foundation for Women, announced at a press

conference before the Global Forum a new Avon fundraising product: the

Women's Empowerment Necklace. Launched as a companion piece to the 2008

Women's Empowerment Bracelet, the Necklace is accessibly priced at just

$5.00. It will be sold through Avon's Sales Representatives and on

www.avon.com. All net proceeds of the Necklace will support domestic violence

programs, building upon the $4 million already raised by the Bracelet in

one year. In the US every Women's Empowerment product sold will include a

free Domestic Violence Resource Guide to increase awareness of this epidemic

of violence and encourage everyone to speak out so it stops.


    "Nearly a billion women worldwide are affected by violence," explained

Witherspoon. "The Empowerment Necklace is an easy way for all women to take

action and demonstrate solidarity to reduce the worldwide epidemic of

violence against women. As Honorary Chair of the Avon Foundation, as a woman,

and as a mother, I am proud to support this effort."


    About Avon Products, Inc. and the Avon Foundation for Women

    Avon, the company for women, is a leading global beauty company, with

over $10 billion in annual revenue. As the world's largest direct seller,

Avon markets to women in more than 100 countries through nearly 6 million

independent Avon Sales Representatives. Avon's product line includes beauty

products, fashion jewelry and apparel, and features such well-recognized

brand names as Avon Color, Anew, Skin-So-Soft, Advance Techniques, Avon

Naturals, and Mark. Avon is also a leader in corporate responsibility and

philanthropy. In addition to Avon's heritage of women's empowerment, the Avon

Foundation for Women, a 501(c)(3) public charity, is the largest

corporate-affiliated philanthropy for women, with more than $660 million

raised worldwide for causes of great concern to women, currently focused on

breast cancer, domestic violence and emergency disaster relief. Learn more

about Avon, its products and programs at www.avoncompany.com.


    About the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at Cornell Law School

    The mission of the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at Cornell

Law School is to work with judges, legal professionals, governmental and

non-governmental organizations to improve access to justice for survivors of

Community Charity Avon Products, Inc. 4 image

gender-based violence in an effort to eliminate violence against women and

girls.


    About UNIFEM

    UNIFEM, the United Nations Development Fund for Women, provides financial

and technical assistance to innovative programs and strategies to foster

women's empowerment and gender equality. Placing the advancement of women's

human rights at the centre of all of its efforts, UNIFEM focuses its

activities on reducing feminized poverty; ending violence against women;

reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS among women and girls; and achieving gender

equality in democratic governance in times of peace as well as war. For more

information, visit www.unifem.org.


    About the International Association of Women Judges

    The International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) is a non-profit,

non-governmental organization of more than 4,000 members at all levels of the

judiciary in more than 90 nations. Formed in 1991, the IAWJ unites women

judges from diverse legal and judicial systems who share a commitment to

equal justice and the rule of law. The IAWJ believes that women judges are in

a unique position to advance the rights of women through the judicial system,

and to protect and empower women throughout the world. Through pioneering

judicial education programs and worldwide collaboration, the IAWJ has focused

its special efforts on addressing issues of violence and discrimination

against women in order to advance equal justice, to eliminate gender bias in

the courts, and to make the courts accessible to all, especially women and

children. Learn more about the International Association of Women Judges and

its programs at www.iawj.org


    (1) Heise, L., Ellsberg , M. and Gottemoeller, M. Ending Violence Against

Women. Population Reports. Series L, No. 11, 1999.


    (2) Bureau of Justice Statistics. Violence Against Women. Estimates from

the redesigned Survey, August 1998.


SOURCE:  Avon Products, Inc.


    CONTACT: Kimberly Bernhardt

             kbernhardt@bncpr.com, or 


             Dana Waisberg,

             dwaisberg@bncpr.com

             +1-212-253-4646, both of BNC, Bragman Nyman Cafarelli;



            (AVP)



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