By Tim Saunders on
Nicole Kidman has presented U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with a petition that calls on world leaders to end impunity for perpetrators of violence against women, provide services for survivors and, most importantly, invest in prevention.
The petition was run online throughout this year and contained 5,066,549 names. UNIFEM Executive Director Ines Alberdi said the campaign’s supporters included 29 world leaders, 188 ministers and over 600 parliamentarians, and celebrities such as Hilary Swank and Bob Geldof.
“I think in some ways I’ve always been heading towards wanting to put some meaning into my life and this is probably how I see myself doing it,” said Kidman, who has been a UNIFEM Ambassador since 2006. “The reason I chose the subject of women is because I was raised by a mother who was very passionate about … having her daughters educated, and wanted her daughters to have an equal opportunity. I was the product of that, and now I’m out there hoping to pass on to the next generation and work in a greater capacity then just as an actress.”
Over the past decade, 120 countries have received much-needed support for hundreds of projects through UNIFEM’s Trust Fund. Last year, $5 million was awarded to various initiatives, including a community-based referral system supporting survivors of domestic violence in Albania, implementation of criminal code provisions prohibiting female genital mutilation in Egypt, awareness programs on HIV/AIDS and violence against women in Peru, and implementation of national laws on violence against women in Rwanda.
Ban Ki-moon has now called for greater efforts “to combat attitudes and behavior that condone, tolerate, excuse or ignore violence committed against women.”
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