U.S. State Department Presents Avon Awards for the Elimination of Gender Based Violence to Ten Organizations Around the World

Awards funded by a $500,000 Avon Foundation for Women grant


New York, NY – February 22, 2011 – The U.S. State Department has presented the Avon Awards for the Elimination of Gender Based Violence, funded by a $500,000 Avon Foundation for Women grant to the U.S. Department of State Secretary's International Fund for Women and Girls. The Avon Awards will fund innovative and collaborative programs developed by ten local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in eight countries for the purpose of ending violence against women.


The NGOs receiving the Avon Awards for the Elimination of Gender Based Violence are:


- Mujeres en Igualdad (Argentina) – to develop interactive tools to empower younger generations to contribute to the prevention and elimination of gender based violence ("Digital Generation against Gender Based Violence")


- Cambodian Center for Human Rights (Cambodia) – to develop and implement an advocacy strategy and public education campaign to address the problem of gender based acid violence (“Cambodian Ending Acid Violence Research and Advocacy Project”)


- Aga Khan Foundation (Egypt) – to combat violence against women, including female genital mutilation, in select Cairo communities (“Creating Attitudes in ADAA Favorable to the Elimination of the Practice of Female Genital Mutilation”)


- Human Rights Law Network (India) – to pilot a study in New Delhi to develop sustainable processes to enable gender-based violence victims to access and use the Indian legal system to combat violations of their rights (“Empowering Women Against Gender Violence – Enforcing Rights through the Indian Legal System”)


- Independent Commission for People’s Rights and Development (India) – to eliminate gender based violence through cultural activism in 50 villages of Karnataka State in South India where there is a high incidence (“Innovative Street Theatre Advocacy to Mainstream Gender Based Violence Interventions Locally”)


- Women’s Resource and Outreach Centre (Jamaica) – to train targeted groups on the relevant national policies, laws and UN conventions that address violence against women and children and to implement a public education and awareness campaign on gender and violence (“Leadership Training and Community Capacity Building for Eliminating Gender Based Violence”)


- Touching Humanity in Need of Kindness (Liberia) – to develop a plan that focuses on men and boys as partners in raising awareness of gender based violence, to establish a model safe house for victims of GBV, and to create a sustainable monitoring system for GBV incidents (“Raising GBV Awareness among Men and Boys”)


- Justice for our Daughters (Mexico) – to work with young male and female factory workers to respond to the high rates of violence against women in Chihuahua, Mexico, through education, theater and an awareness campaign (“Elimination of GBV in the Workplace”)


- Anadolu University Women’s Research Center and Action (Turkey) – to create a cadre of gender-sensitive media professionals who will play a crucial role in eliminating gender based violence in Turkey (“Demystifying Gender Based Violence for Future Journalists: From Self Awareness to Gender Sensitive Reporters”)


- Husnu M.Ozyegin Foundation (Turkey) – to train adolescent girls residing in six secondary school girls’ dormitories in four Turkish provinces in life-skills that address gender based violence (“Synergy to Empower Girls Against Violence”)


“The Avon Foundation is tremendously privileged to partner with the U.S. Department of State and to share its commitment to end violence against women,” said Carol Kurzig, president of the Avon Foundation for Women. “As the company for women, Avon is committed to providing women with an economic opportunity as well as serving as a change agent for critical issues that face women worldwide through Avon philanthropy. We believe the answer to this complex problem lies in forging strong partnerships between the public and private sectors.” 


The Avon Foundation’s grant to the State Department underscores 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. 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 in more than 50 countries. Avon supports its global efforts to end violence against women by raising funds through special product sales and raising awareness by educational information disseminating through more than 6 million global Avon Representatives. 


The State Department grant is in addition to the company’s previously announced financial donations to other major partners in global efforts to stop violence against women including: the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women; Vital Voices and the US State Department to establish the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Women; and Cornell University Law School for the creation of the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice. In addition, the Avon Foundation recently announced its newest commitment in honor of Avon’s 125th anniversary – the $1 million Avon Global Believe Fund that will fund a pioneering global effort to support women’s domestic violence shelters and agencies in 16 cities around the world.


About the 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.