Reese Witherspoon Launches the Avon Women’s Empowerment Bracelet to Honor the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day

Avon Empowerment products and programs in more than 50 countries have raised more than $30 million to end violence against women

New York, NY – March 7, 2011 – Even as women and men around the world celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day on March 8th, violence against women remains a global epidemic.  The domestic violence statistics for just one ordinary day in the United States are staggering: on average, three women will be murdered by an intimate partner*, more than 70,000 domestic violence victims will receive services from domestic violence programs and another 10,000 will be turned away for lack of resources, and domestic violence hotlines will receive more than 22,000 calls. Around the world, the statistics are equally horrific: one in three women will be raped, beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime**.  

 

“Although the problem may seem insurmountable, there are ways for women and men everywhere to help bring an end to violence against women across the globe,” said Reese Witherspoon, Avon Global Ambassador and Honorary Chair of the Avon Foundation for Women. “The Avon Empowerment Bracelet is a simple, but powerful, way to raise funds to reduce violence against women. As a woman and as a mother, I urge you to join me on this very special anniversary of International Women’s Day to end this epidemic by wearing and giving the bracelet to friends and family.”

 

The new bracelet, part of the Avon Women’s Empowerment product collection, is accessibly priced at just $10.00 each. One hundred percent of net profits ($8.04 for each bracelet sold) will benefit Avon Foundation for Women programs dedicated to ending violence against women. The new bracelet features assorted faux-stone, glass and silvertone beads with an “infinity” charm on a stretch bracelet, representing the unlimited opportunities for women when they live violence-free lives.

 

The new Empowerment Bracelet and other products in the collection are available through Avon Sales Representatives in more than 50 countries by calling 1-800-FOR-AVON or by visiting www.avon.com.

 

“Each year in recognition of International Women’s Day, the Avon Foundation offers a new Empowerment product that provides a tangible way women and men can help end the devastating impact of violence against women,” said Carol Kurzig, President of Avon Foundation for Women. “Since 2008, those who have purchased Avon Foundation Empowerment products have contributed to Avon and the Avon Foundation’s donations of more than $30 million to support programs aimed at reducing domestic and gender violence in more than 50 countries.”

 

Every Empowerment product sold in the United States includes a free copy of a Domestic Violence and Dating Abuse Resource Guide to increase awareness, provide helpful information and resources, and encourage everyone to speak out to end this epidemic.

 

Women and men can also raise life-saving funds to end violence against women across the globe by:


• Purchasing songs through Avon Voices, the company’s first-ever global online singing talent search for women and songwriting competition for men and women.  A percentage of the purchase will support the Avon Foundation for Women’s global campaign to end violence against women. “Until You Love You,” written by Diane Warren, as well as other recordings by Avon Voices Judges and additional artists, are available for purchase in certain countries. Find out more about music purchases at Avon Voices.

 

• Designating the Avon Foundation for Women as their favorite nonprofit on eBay, which allows buyers to donate $1 or more every time they make a purchase on eBay and pay with PayPal. eBay sellers also can easily contribute to Avon by donating a percentage of their listing’s final sale price – which is reimbursed to them through a fee credit – to the Foundation’s Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program.

 

Avon’s Global Efforts to End Violence Against Women and International Women’s Day (IWD)
Avon and the Avon Foundation for Women have a strong commitment to ending violence against women around the world. For this centennial celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD), the Avon Foundation created the $1 million Avon Global Believe Fund, which Avon Chairman and CEO Andrea Jung and Reese Witherspoon announced in January during the launch of the company’s 125th Anniversary “Avon Believe World Tour.” Through the Believe Fund the Avon Foundation is partnering with the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) to identify and fund an international network of outstanding nonprofit organizations to help them provide critical life-saving services for victims of domestic violence and their families. This global effort also aims to draw attention to the alarming lack of adequate services for women and children who are victims of domestic violence in communities everywhere.

 

Progress on Avon’s efforts in recognition of International Women’s Day includes:

 

• IWD 2010: Avon provided a $500,000 grant to the U.S. Department of State Secretary's International Fund for Women and Girls to launch the Avon Awards for the Elimination of Gender Based Violence. These grants funded innovative and collaborative programs developed by ten international non-government organizations in eight countries. Avon and the Avon Foundation also partnered with Vital Voices and the U.S. Department of State to convene a 3-day global summit in Washington, D.C., to launch the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Women. The project created public-private partnerships to reduce violence against women through pilot programs in 15 countries. Since the launch, the country delegation in Argentina has enlisted nearly 400 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to sign a joint declaration recognizing inadequate legislation to combat human trafficking; India and Argentina have held performances of Seven, a documentary play that shares the story of seven women who have prevailed over tremendous obstacles to affect change in their countries; and the Avon Foundation has funded an additional $750,000 for a leadership mentoring program, grants to outstanding delegation projects and a regional program to convene African and Middle Eastern delegates.

 

• IWD 2009: Avon funded a Global Forum for Women and Justice organized by the International Association of Women Judges, convening judges and legal practitioners from around the world to discuss obstacles and solutions to raising the awareness and implementation of laws to end violence against women. The Avon Foundation also launched the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at Cornell Law School with a $1.5 million grant. The center works with judges, legal professionals, governments and NGOs to improve access to justice for gender violence victims.  In 2011, among its many initiatives, the Avon Global Center at Cornell released a comprehensive study of acid violence and investigated barriers to justice for domestic violence survivor-defendants in New York State.

 

• IWD 2008: Avon hosted its second Global Summit for A Better Tomorrow at the United Nations. The Avon Foundation contributed $1 million to the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women – the largest one-year corporate contribution in the fund’s history – and renewed its commitment with an additional $250,000. Avon also supported a Senior Roundtable for Women & Justice at the U.S. State Department that focused on global solutions to ensuring women's safety by providing them with improved access to justice.

 

• IWD 2007: Avon co-hosted its first IWD Global Summit for a Better Tomorrow at the United Nations with UNICEF, UNIFEM and UN-DESA, and The Virtue Foundation, that initiated partnerships for women’s rights and empowerment.

 

For more information on progress on Avon’s efforts in recognition of International Women’s Day, please visit http://www.avonfoundation.org/iwd.html.


Avon Foundation for Women
The Avon Foundation for Women, the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women. Through 2010, Avon global philanthropy has donated more than $800 million in more than 50 countries for causes most important to women. Today, Avon philanthropy focuses its funding on breast cancer research and access to care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. Avon also responds generously to provide support for relief and recovery efforts in times of major natural disasters and emergencies.

 

Speak Out Against Domestic Violence
The Avon Foundation for Women launched Speak Out Against Domestic Violence in 2004 to support domestic violence awareness, education and prevention programs, as well as direct services for victims and their families. Through the end of 2010, Avon global philanthropy has donated more than $30 million to support awareness, education, direct service and prevention programs aimed at reducing domestic and gender violence. Globally, Avon supports efforts to end violence against women in more than 50 countries by raising funds through special product sales and raising awareness through events and with educational information disseminated by more than 6 million global Avon Representatives.

 

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To access photos of the Avon Women's Empowerment Bracelet and a video of Reese Witherspoon, please click here.

 

* Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Homicide Victims by Gender

** UNIFEM report, Not A Minute More: Ending Violence Against Women