Thursday, March 06, 2008

Avon Announces Partnership With United Nations to End Violence Against Women

Do you think that celebrities help make a difference in creating awareness about important issues? I happen to think they do -- and admits it.

One thing I do know is that domestic violence is a subject that people are not very comfortable discussing (trust me, I am never the most popular table at the employee wellness fair) -- and anything that makes it more "high profile" (for lack of a better phrase) makes it easier to raise awareness. is really great. And Reese Witherspoon is certainly a person who can do that. And Avon and The Avon Foundation have done a wonderful job of working with Salma Hayek and now Reese Witherspoon to draw attention to the issue of domestic violence.

Reese Witherspoon was at the United Nations Tuesday, lending her celebrity to the new partnership between Avon and the United Nations Development Fund for Women [UNIFEM], in their efforts to end domestic violence globally. Ahead of International Women's Day this weekend, Avon CEO Andrea Jung announced the partnership between her company and UNIFEM, in which the Avon Foundation will match the first $500,000 in sales of a "Women's Empowerment Bracelet" for the U.N. Trust to End Violence Against Women. The bracelets are available through for $3.

Jung described domestic violence as a "pandemic" that affects up to one billion women worldwide. Witherspoon, honorary chairperson of the Avon Foundation and the Global Ambassador for Avon Products (nyse: AVP - news - people ), acknowledged the celebrity issue by thanking the media for covering the event--a not-so-subtle way of acknowledging that the room may not have been filled with celebrity photographers and reporters from People and US Weekly magazine if she weren't there. And at this point in the story, admits they may not have been there either had it not been for Reese Witherspoon. I think that is very cool of them.

Thanks to Witherspoon's presence, the issue will be read about by millions in celebrity magazines and on Web sites. For her part, the actress said, simply: "I'm happy to use my recognizability to bring awareness to this.

It is unfortunate that it takes a celebrity to draw attention to the issue of domestic violence, but the fact is it DOES make a difference -- and if that helps change or save a life, I think that is wonderful and I thank Reese Witherspoon for doing so!

If you are interested in a really cool bracelet, AND in something you can do to make a difference, check out the bracelet by clicking here.

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