UNIFEM and Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman Launch Internet Campaign on Ending Violence against Women

    NEW YORK, Nov. 26 /CNW/ -- United Nations -- The United Nations
Development Fund for Women, UNIFEM, its Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman, and
a large number of partners launched an Internet campaign on ending violence
against women today. Titled, "Say NO to Violence against Women," the campaign
invites people to add their names to a "virtual" book on a web site that has
been developed specifically for this purpose: www.saynotoviolence.org.  Urging
hundreds of thousands -- even millions -- of people around the world to
participate, the campaign aims to send a strong message to decision-makers to
place ending violence against women high on the global agenda.
    "Violence against women is an appalling human rights violation," said
UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman. "But it is not inevitable. We can
put a stop to this. The more names we collect, the stronger our case to make
ending violence against women a top priority for governments everywhere. This
is why I was the first to sign my name."
    Statistics indicate that as many as one in three women will experience
violence in her lifetime. Too often, this violence occurs with impunity for
perpetrators and inadequate access to support for survivors. UNIFEM has been a
leading advocate for decisive action to address the multiple manifestations of
gender-based violence -- whether it be domestic violence, human trafficking or
systematic rape in conflict zones. The task continues, however, to be an
uphill battle, as fear and shame prevent many women from speaking out.
    Joanne Sandler, acting UNIFEM Executive Director, said: "The momentum to
address violence against women is increasing. At least 89 countries, for
example, have legislative provisions on domestic violence by now. But
implementation of these laws is often insufficient due to a lack of political
will, capacity and resources. As long as violence is pervasive and women do
not dare to accuse their abusers, the issue needs to be much more prominent in
public debate."
    UNIFEM's Internet campaign is a gateway to information on violence
against women, including pointing out ways to get involved. Since resources
are critical to tackling the issue, it also highlights the UN Trust Fund to
End Violence against Women, through which initiatives in developing countries
have received much-needed support, in particular to advance the implementation
of laws and policies.
    Major civil society organizations representing millions of members, such
as World YWCA, Zonta International and the White Ribbon Campaign have come on
board as launch partners, as have private sector companies like Avon, and UN
partners such as UNICEF.
    The campaign will run until 8 March 2008, International Women's Day. It
was developed on a pro bono basis by London-based advertising agency Leo
Burnett, with additional pro bono support by companies arc, sky, vividas,
tsunami, ITN source, MPC, and wave.

For further information:

For further information: Nanette Braun, +1-212-906-6829, 
nanette.braun@unifem.org, or Letitia Anderson, +1-212-906-6506, 
letitia.anderson@unifem.org, both of UNIFEM Web Site: http://www.unifem.org  

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