In recognition of International Women’s Day, Avon Foundation for Women Ambassador Salma Hayek Pinault and Avon Products, Inc. CEO Sheri McCoy announced that four global organizations and one government campaign have received 2nd Avon Communications Awards: Speaking Out About Violence Against Women for their outstanding work to bring attention to the need to end violence against women.
The awards, presented at the United Nations Headquarters during the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, are part of the Avon Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program, which has donated nearly $50 million globally to end violence against women since its launch in 2004.
At a special adjunct event to the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations, Salma Hayek Pinault; Sheri McCoy; Liberian Ambassador Marjon V. Kamara; Ambassador Rosemary A. DiCarlo, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative, U.S. Mission to the United Nations; and Futures Without Violence President Esta Soler participated in the Avon Awards ceremony. ABC News Anchor Bianna Golodryga moderated the event. The CSW, which this year focuses on the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls, drew nearly 6,000 representatives from UN Member States, UN entities and NGOs from around the world for a two-week session. Last year, the Avon Foundation for Women presented its first Avon Communications Awards at the 2nd World Conference of Women’s Shelters in Washington, D.C.
Avon CEO Sheri McCoy emphasized the critical importance of communications in ending violence against women as she shared highlights of an Avon Foundation-funded survey to be released in June that analyzed bystander behavior in situations relating to partner violence and dating and sexual abuse. “People are willing to speak out, but they don’t always know how to recognize the signs of abuse or how best to intervene. Avon believes communications and education will help bystanders become interveners and help break the cycle of violence against women,” said McCoy.
2nd Avon Communications Awards Winners
The Avon Foundation recognized non-governmental organizations from Pakistan, Tanzania, Nepal, Peru, and a governmental organization from the Ukraine, for their exemplary communications campaigns that are helping change communities, policies, institutions and behaviors to end violence against women. An international panel of judges selected the winning campaigns from more than 425 communications submitted to the Communications X-Change by 119 organizations in 46 countries, ranging from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. The X-Change, a digital global communications library funded by the Avon Foundation and managed by Futures Without Violence, enables organizations and advocates throughout the world to find, share, and learn from the best communications material focused on ending violence against women and children.
The winning organizations, which will each receive an Avon Foundation grant to fund the continuation of their work, are:
*INNOVATIVE CAMPAIGN AWARD
Bytes for All (Pakistan) – “Take back the Tech!”
This campaign seizes upon the spread of technology in Pakistan to help strengthen women’s use of technology to raise awareness about Violence Against Women by using online tools. The campaign also strategically involves important public figures from judges to movie stars using social media to spread the word to “take back the tech.” The print and online communications materials pave the way for young women to use these online technology tools, often off-limits in Pakistan, to make their voices heard.
*BREAK THE SILENCE AWARD
EngenderHealth (Tanzania) – “Champion Project”
The “Champion Project” video is part of a five-year effort to engage men in Tanzania by increasing their involvement in addressing underlying gender issues and power imbalances in relationships. The video aims to turn men from bystanders to champions with its key message, “Violence is everyone’s problem. Be a role model. Earn respect by standing up to violence.”
*COMMUNITY CHANGE AWARD
Equal Access (Nepal) – “Voices – Samajhdari”
Involving community members as writers, reporters, radio technicians and commentators, “Voices – Samajhdari” by Equal Access enables women to be agents of their own change – reshaping community attitudes through their own messages that resonate with their closest neighbors and throughout Nepal. This weekly 30-minute radio program directly integrates voices from rural communities in audio collected by 12 female ‘community reporters’ who are themselves survivors of violence, able to discuss topics and issues that otherwise would be considered off-limits.
*X-CHANGE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATION AWARD
State Service for Youth and Sports & International Women’s Rights Center ‘La Strada’ (Ukraine) – “Stop Violence”
The Government of Ukraine, working with UNICEF Ukraine and NGOs, leveraged the 2012 Euro Football Cup to field a large campaign aimed at men to use communications to raise social awareness of the need to end violence against women. In their “Red Card” poster, the Ukrainian singer Ani Lorak speaks a soccer fan’s language to advocate against sexual violence. Recognition of this campaign highlights the important development coalitions among government agencies, UNICEF and NGOs working collaboratively for greater impact across society.
*GLOBAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNICATION
PCI Media Impact (Peru) – “Strong Women, Strong Voices”
The “Strong Women, Strong Voices” radio program—using radio, a favored medium particularly in rural communities—skillfully weaves together stories using language accessible to both Spanish-speaking and indigenous women that dramatizes the stories of women overcoming prejudice, abuse and sexual violence. Radio and storytelling is very adaptable, but real impact comes also from an organization with both a strong infrastructure and well-analyzed and realized strong theory of change.
To view the award-winning campaigns in each of the five categories, as well as the 19 finalists’ campaigns, click here.
Other Avon Foundation Speak Out Against Domestic Violence Initiatives
At the 2nd Avon Communications Awards: Speaking Out About Violence Against Women, Salma Hayek Pinault launched the Avon Empowerment Charm Necklace in recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8th. One hundred percent of the net profits from the necklace’s sale will benefit the Avon Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. The silver tone necklace features the infinity symbol, which in Avon’s Speak Out campaign represents lives with unlimited potential when free from violence.
“I have been a proud supporter of the Avon Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program since it launched in 2004,” said Salma Hayek Pinault, Avon Foundation for Women Ambassador. “I encourage everyone to purchase, wear or give the Avon Empowerment Charm Necklace to help raise vital funds for domestic abuse support services.”