LOS ANGELES, Aug 30, 2008 / FW/ — Launched last March 2008 in New York resulting from a collaboration between Avon Products and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Empowerment Bracelet has become a symbol for raising awareness about women’s issues.
As Avon Global Ambassador, Reese Witherspoon has taken the message nationally in the U.S. and internationally in Japan. And last Thursday, she was in Sao Paolo, Brazil spreading the message and also sharing the great news that 1.5 million units of the Empowerment Bracelet had been sold since its launch last March.
Joining Nilcéa Freire, Brazil’s Federal Secretary for Women Policies, Ana Falú, UNIFEM Regional Director for the Southern Cone, and biochemist and domestic violence survivor, Maria da Penha Maia Fernandes, who pioneered the fight against domestic violence in Brazil and inspired the creation of Maria da Penha Act, on the podium, Reese Witherspoon shared a commitment to strengthening efforts and building resources to end violence against women and enhance women’s economic security and rights.
“I find it shocking that one billion women globally – that is one in every three women – are affected by violence at some point in their lives. In Latin America, between 30 and 40 percent of all women aged fifteen or older have been subjected to some form of violence, most often by a member of their own family,” said Ms. Witherspoon. “That’s a statistic we must try to change, and the Women’s Empowerment Bracelet is a great way for everyone to contribute.”
The bracelet initiative was created to raise awareness about the need to speak out against the violence that affects women around the globe. In support of this mission, proceeds from the Women’s Empowerment Bracelet will go to the Avon Empowerment Fund, which will contribute to the UNIFEM-managed UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women.
The first $500,000 from bracelet sales have been matched in 2008 by the Avon Foundation for a total donation of $1 million for new grants by the UN Trust Fund, representing the single-largest one-year corporate contribution to-date. Additional funds raised will support local domestic violence programs in each country Avon is located.
Photos by Argosfoto, courtesy of Avon