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UNIFEM launches initiative to end violence against women


United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) has launched the global advocacy initiative Say NO - UNiTE to End Violence against Women, which will stimulate, count and showcase actions on ending violence against women. The innovative platform will spotlight global efforts and demonstrate the groundswell of support and actions on the issue.

Based on country data, it is estimated that up to 70 percent of women experience physical or sexual violence from men in their lifetime. Say NO - UNiTE to End Violence against Women is a global call for action to end this pandemic violence. The multi-year initiative will contribute through advocacy and outreach to the high-profile UN Secretary-General-led campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women. The initial target is to reach 100,000 actions by March 2010 and 1 million actions in one year. Actions to be showcased and counted can range from reaching out to students at schools, to volunteering at local shelters, advocating for legislation or donating funds towards programmes that protect women and girls from violence.

The luxury watch manufacturer OMEGA announced a challenge grant of US$50,000 for the first 50,000 actions, a result of cooperation with UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman. The money will go to organizations working on the ground.

The Say NO - UNiTE initiative, which will count actions by individuals, governments and civil society partners, has already gained the support of more than eighty launch partners from across the world. Coinciding with the launch, the multi-lingual broadcaster Euro News will air throughout the month of November a public service announcement with UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman, which calls on every individual to say no to all forms of violence.

Say NO builds upon the momentum generated in 2008 during its first phase, when more than 5 million people signed on to a global internet campaign to make ending violence against women a top priority worldwide. Heads of State and Ministers from 69 governments and more than 600 parliamentarians have added their names to the Say NO campaign since then.

For further interest and action visit: http://www.saynotoviolence.org/

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