The Avon Foundation for Women was recently globally recognized for its work to end violence against women by non-governmental organization Together For Girls. In partnership with national governments, civil society and the private sector, Together for Girls brings attention to the issue of violence against girls in support of country-driven efforts for change. Every year, during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, Together for Girls celebrates 16 heroes from 16 very different walks of life with 16 different identities and 16 unique stories.
The foundation was chosen as one of the 16 for its work to end violence against women, with special recognition of Christine Jaworsky, who is director of the Avon Foundation. The foundation and Jaworsky were featured alongside former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, activist/influencer celebrities and global change-makers.
The 16 Days Campaign is an annual global movement emphasizing all forms of violence against women as a human rights issue. It was started in 1991 by the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute, held by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University. The campaign uses the 16 days between International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (Nov. 25) and International Human Rights Day (Dec. 10) to reinforce that eliminating all forms of violence against women is a human rights issue and that the act of perpetrating violence against women is a human rights violation.
Worldwide, almost one-third of women who have been in a relationship experience physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner. In the United States domestic violence hotlines receive more than 20,000 calls per day.
As director of the Avon Foundation for Women, Jaworsky partnered with the National Domestic Violence Hotline on its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence Initiative. By awarding 25 direct service domestic violence shelters with $20,000 grants, the Avon Foundation is committed to addressing the financial strain many of these grassroots organizations face.
Jaworsky is further expanding the foundation’s work through its Global Partnership to End Violence Against Women, a public–private collaboration between the Avon Foundation, Vital Voices and the U.S. Department of State. Through the partnership, they have hosted Justice Institutes in the Philippines, Colombia, India, South Africa and Argentina, assembling first responders, police officers, health professionals, prosecutors and judges who work with and protect victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
“Each Institute participant cares about preventing and responding appropriately to violence against women, but the reality is, even people with common goals approach situations differently,” Jaworsky says. “Avon’s main goal in funding The Justice Institutes is to convene participants to be resources for each other and to discuss how, at all stages of a victim’s experience, we remain laser-focused on his or her needs at the center of all that we do.”