Vital Voices and Avon Announce Innovative Partnership to End Violence Against Women Worldwide

By Avon Foundation For Women, PRNE
Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Initiative Includes US$1.2 Million in Donations from the Avon Foundation for Women and Avon Products, Inc. to Fund Bold and Innovative Programs that Seek Sustainable Solutions to End World's Worst Forms of Violence: Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2010 - Vital Voices ( and The Avon Foundation for
Women ( today announced The Global Partnership
to End Violence Against women, a new innovative collaboration with the U.S.
State Department to combat the most destructive types of violence against
women and help ensure justice for women and girls worldwide. With one in
three women globally the victim of abuse or violence in their lifetime, the
Global Partnership will address the need for serious, sustained on the ground
research and development, as well as actionable, collaborative,
culturally-sensitive local solutions that can change these statistics in a
measurable way.

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To facilitate the Global Partnership, Avon and the Avon Foundation for
Women announced US$1.2 million in donations to Vital Voices to bring together
15 country delegations consisting of leaders from diverse sectors, including
business, government, law enforcement, the NGO community, media/entertainment
, academia and others — in a first of its kind global forum to share
insights, forge collaborations, and seek ways to overcome challenging
cultural realities that have been barriers to progress. Vital Voices and the
Avon Foundation for Women will also support these delegations when they
return to their home countries with regional programs and a toolkit that can
be used on a year-long basis as action plans are implemented.

Alyse Nelson, President of Vital Voices says the issue of violence
against women has been ignored for too long. "While one in three women will
be the victim of abuse or violence at some point in their lives, not nearly
enough attention has been given to this global crisis," she said. "Around the
world, services for victims are often vastly underfunded or unavailable and
in many countries, laws to protect women do not exist or are not understood
nor enforced. The economic cost of domestic violence, sexual violence and
human trafficking together is estimated to be in the trillions of dollars.
It's going to take real commitment and partnership within all countries to
address their specific problems with culturally sensitive solutions that are
truly sustainable over time."

Andrea Jung, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Avon Products Inc.
commented: "It is more urgent than ever to confront this growing global
challenge," she said. "With over six million Avon Representatives in more
than 100 countries, Avon is the largest engine of economic opportunity for
women on earth. We have seen first hand that when a woman is empowered
economically, she can escape an abusive situation. Given our close personal
connections with women, we feel it is our obligation and responsibility, and
that we are uniquely suited, to be a committed partner in the search for
innovative solutions that truly make a difference to ending the epidemic of
violence against women in our lifetime."

The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Women is founded on the
premise that local experts are best suited to know what solutions will work
in their own communities. Nelson says: "The hope is that by engaging
delegates who know their cultures best, we'll be able to develop and
implement more sustainable programs to address this pervasive problem. The
goal of The Global Partnership is to support these local teams with
information, resources and funding. This will be an ongoing effort, local
implementation supported by global collaboration and sharing of best
practices as we gain a better understanding of what works."

As part of Avon's ongoing collaboration in support of this issue, Reese
, the company's global ambassador and honorary chairperson of the
Avon Foundation for Women, today announced a new Avon fundraising product –
the Women's Empowerment Ring — that the company anticipates will raise
significant funds to support local country initiatives to end violence
against women. The Women's Empowerment Ring is launched as a companion piece
to the Women's Empowerment Bracelet and the Women's Empowerment Necklace,
launched in 2008 and 2009 respectively, which together have raised US$8
globally. The Women's Empowerment Ring, priced at US$5.00, will be
sold through Avon Representatives in over 45 countries and on, with 100% of net profits (US$3.80 for each ring sold)
going to support domestic violence programs. In the US, every Women's
Empowerment product sold will include a free Domestic Violence Resource Guide
to increase awareness of this epidemic of violence, provide helpful
information and resources, and encourage everyone to speak out so it stops.

"There is nothing more important for all of us than ensuring the safety
of women and girls everywhere. The problem is so pervasive, it's critical
that we find ways to work together, as a global community, to combat it. I
applaud this groundbreaking new Partnership, and look forward to the
innovative ideas and solutions it will produce."

This year, Vital Voices will be celebrating the 15th anniversary of its
creation at the Beijing Women's Conference where then-First Lady Hillary
equated women's rights to human rights. Since then, it has developed
programs to help provide safety and justice for women in more than 50
countries nationwide. The Avon Foundation for Women launched Speak Out
Against Domestic Violence in 2004 to provide funding to domestic violence
organizations for awareness, education, prevention programs and direct
services for victims. In a few short years, Avon global philanthropy has
committed more than US$16 million to end violence against women.

To get real time updates about The Global Partnership to End Violence
Against Women, visit the Avon online channels on Facebook
(, Twitter
( and YouTube

Vital Voices

Vital Voices Global Partnership is a leading non-governmental
organization (NGO) that identifies, trains and empowers emerging women
leaders and social entrepreneurs around the globe, enabling them to create a
better world for us all. Vital Voices provides these women with the capacity,
connections and credibility they need to unlock their potential. The Vital
Voices mission is to identify, invest in and bring visibility to
extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential
to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities.
The Vital Voices international staff and team of over 1000 partners, pro bono
experts and leaders, including senior government, corporate and NGO
executives, have trained and mentored more than 8,000 emerging women leaders
from over 127 countries in Asia, Africa, Eurasia, Latin America and the
Middle East since 1997. These women have returned home to train and mentor
more than 500,000 additional women and girls in their communities.

Avon Products, Inc.

Avon (NYSE: AVP), the company for women, is a leading global beauty
company, with over US$10 billion in annual revenue. As the world's largest
direct seller, Avon markets to women in more than 100 countries through
approximately 6 million independent Avon Sales Representatives. Avon's
product line includes beauty products, as well as fashion and home products,
and features such well-recognized brand names as Avon Color, Anew,
Skin-So-Soft, Advance Techniques, Avon Naturals, and Mark. Learn more about
Avon and its products at

Avon Foundation for Women

The Avon Foundation for Women is the world's largest corporate-affiliated
philanthropy focused on women's issues. Since it was founded in 1955, the
Avon Foundation has been committed to the mission to improve the lives of
women and their families. Now past the half century milestone, the Avon
Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity that today brings this mission to
life through two key areas of focus: breast cancer and domestic violence.
Through 2009, Avon global philanthropy has donated more than US$725 million
in over 50 countries for causes most important to women.

Hilary Perry, +1-202-374-6010, hilary at, or Jennifer Iino-Harvey, jennifer.iino-harvey at, +1-212-282-8193

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