UNIFEM and Avon Announce Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Advance Women's Empowerment: Company Contribution Benefits UN Trust Fund



    -Reese Witherspoon and Suze Orman among the Featured Speakers at Global
    Summit for Better Tomorrow in Celebration of International Women's Day-

    -The Largest One-Year Corporate Contribution Ever Received by the Fund-

    NEW YORK, March 4 /CNW/ - Today, UNIFEM, the United Nations Development
Fund for Women, and Avon Products, Inc. are announcing a public-private
partnership to promote women's empowerment and end violence against women. As
a result, Avon is committing $1 million to the UNIFEM-managed UN Trust Fund to
End Violence against Women. The contribution will be made through the Avon
Empowerment Fund, which is being launched today as part of the new Avon-UNIFEM
partnership. These resources will bolster the UN Trust Fund's critical work on
the implementation of laws, policies and government plans to prevent and
reduce the prevalence of violence against women.

    (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080304/NYTU052 )

    This public-private partnership, driven by Avon and UNIFEM's shared
commitment to advance women's empowerment globally, will be announced today at
the Global Summit for a Better Tomorrow at the United Nations. Co-sponsored by
UNIFEM and Avon, the Summit will focus on the tools and resources needed for
women's empowerment around the world. The Summit is in celebration of
International Women's Day, which will be recognized globally on March 8, 2008.
    "For more than 120 years, Avon has empowered women across the globe by
providing them the opportunity to own their own business and achieve economic
independence. We believe that by empowering women, we can help change the
world and this commitment is imprinted on everything we do," said Andrea Jung,
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Avon Products, Inc. "Avon is proud to
partner with UNIFEM, a leading organization dedicated to advancing the causes
of women around the world. Working together we will continue this important
agenda and create an even better future for women, for families and ultimately
society at large."
    Joanne Sandler, UNIFEM Executive Director, a.i., said, "UNIFEM, the
women's fund at the United Nations, welcomes Avon, the Company for Women, as
an engaged and long-term partner, helping UNIFEM fulfill its mission to
advance women's empowerment and gender equality. This public-private
partnership brings a strong global leader in the private sector as a stalwart
ally in our common efforts. Together, we can reach a broad international
constituency, which is essential to advance women globally and make ending
violence against women a top priority."
    The Global Summit brings together some of the most influential and
accomplished leaders and advocates in the area of global women's empowerment
including: Mallika Dutt, Founder and Executive Director of Breakthrough, an
international human rights organization using innovative high impact
education, media and popular culture to about social change in India and the
US; Liliana Rainero, coordinator of the women's rights organization CISCSA
(Center of Subregional Exchange in the Southern Cone) and a UN Trust Fund
grantee from Argentina, works to build safer communities and neighborhoods;
UNIFEM Executive Director, a.i., Joanne Sandler; Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer, Avon Products, Inc., Andrea Jung; award-winning actress and Avon
Global Ambassador Reese Witherspoon; and personal-finance expert, TV host and
best-selling author Suze Orman.
    To help raise both awareness and funds, Witherspoon is unveiling at the
Summit Avon's first global fundraising product, the Women's Empowerment
Bracelet. The bracelets will sell for $3 each and all net profits will be
donated to the Avon Empowerment Fund. In 2008, the Avon Foundation will match
the first $500,000 in bracelet sales for a total donation of $1 million for
new grant-making by the UN Trust Fund.
    "One out of every three women in the world is affected by domestic
violence. I am proud to be a part of this Summit, and I support Avon and
UNIFEM wholeheartedly in their efforts to put an end to this global epidemic,"
said Witherspoon. "As honorary chair of the Avon Foundation, I'm also very
excited to introduce the Avon Women's Empowerment Bracelet. It's difficult for
each one of us to pause in our daily lives, and think about what we might do
to improve the condition of women everywhere. As individuals, it's almost
impossible for us to be effective, but together, we can change the world. I
love the bracelet, and what it stands for: our collective power, our
solidarity, our determination and our hope."
    The UN Trust Fund is in its eleventh year of operation and to date has
distributed nearly $18 million to 250 innovative programs addressing violence
against women in more than 120 countries. The Trust Fund has a special focus
on increasing legal literacy and working with judicial, legal and law
enforcement agencies and personnel, and other stakeholders, to increase the
awareness, understanding and efficacy of regulations to curb violence against
women.
    Also included among speakers and special guests at the Global Summit are
selected global winners of the Avon Hello Tomorrow Fund, including Alfa
Demmellash a U.S. winner from New Jersey and Gursel Cilingiroglu from Turkey.
The Hello Tomorrow Fund is a unique grassroots program launched in over a
dozen countries in which Avon provides cash awards to individuals to launch or
expand programs that empower women. In the U.S., the Hello Tomorrow Fund
provides one $5,000 award each week to an individual whose initiative both
advances the interests of women and ultimately improves society. The Hello
Tomorrow Fund has had tremendous impact across the world, with programs
ranging from promoting career development of women university students in
Shanghai, China, to helping victims of domestic violence rebuild their lives
in Massachusetts, Georgia and Tennessee. The Hello Tomorrow Fund concludes its
successful first year this week, and is extending into a second year.
    Suze Orman, a U.S. Hello Tomorrow Fund judge, noted that "being part of
the Hello Tomorrow Fund is a constant reminder to me of how much true
greatness resides in the hearts of so many. The desire for women to want to be
true architects of change is so obvious with every single proposal that I
read." In each country, a panel of notable experts and public figures, such as
Ms. Orman, review Hello Tomorrow Fund applications and select the award
recipients.

    About Avon Products, Inc. and the Avon Foundation

    Avon, the company for women, is a leading global beauty company, with
almost $10 billion in annual revenue. As the world's largest direct seller,
Avon markets to women in more than 100 countries through 5.4 million
independent Avon Sales Representatives. Avon's product line includes beauty
products, fashion jewelry and apparel, and features such well-recognized brand
names as Avon Color, Anew, Skin-So-Soft, Advance Techniques, Avon Naturals,
and Mark. Avon is also a leader in corporate responsibility and philanthropy.
In addition to Avon's heritage of women's empowerment, the Avon Foundation, a
501(c)(3) public charity, is the largest corporate foundation for women, with
more than $580 million raised worldwide for breast cancer, domestic violence
and emergency disaster relief. Learn more about Avon, its products and
programs at www.avoncompany.com.

    About UNIFEM

    UNIFEM is the United Nations Development Fund for Women. It provides
financial and technical assistance to innovative programs and strategies to
foster women's empowerment and gender equality. Placing the advancement of
women's human rights at the centre of all of its efforts, UNIFEM focuses its
activities on reducing feminized poverty; ending violence against women;
reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS among women and girls; and achieving gender
equality in democratic governance in times of peace as well as war. For more
information, visit www.unifem.org.





For further information:

For further information: Nanette Braun, UNIFEM, (212) 906-6829, or (916)
667-1696, Nanette.braun@unifem.org; Kimberly Bernhardt, kbernhardt@bncpr.com;
or Dana Waisberg, dwaisberg@bncpr.com, BNC | Bragman Nyman Cafarelli, (212)
253-4646, Web Site: http://www.avoncompany.com, http://www.unifem.org

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AVON PRODUCTS, INC.

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