United Nations Foundation President and CEO Kathy Calvin: Ending Violence Against Women is Key to Global Progress

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On International Women’s Day, new U.S. law prioritizes elimination of child marriage globally.

One of the gravest challenges confronting women and girls today is the threat of violence.

On the 102nd International Women's Day, United Nations Foundation President and CEO Kathy Calvin issued the following statement:

“Today the world marks International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the achievements and recognize the challenges of women around the world. At the United Nations Foundation, we focus on women and girls every day of the year. Because we know that when women and girls are safe, healthy, educated and empowered, they can break the cycle of poverty and create a new cycle – serving as catalysts for change in their communities, nations, and our world.

“One of the gravest challenges confronting women and girls today is the threat of violence. In fact, one in three women today will face violence in her lifetime. And this threat isn’t limited to one country or region – it is pervasive and takes many forms. All are fundamental human rights violations. When a woman cannot be safe, she cannot reach her full potential, hindering her opportunities and hindering global development.

“But today, we are hopeful that progress is underway. A growing movement of people and organizations are taking a global stand against violence. Just yesterday, President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act, which ensures continued American leadership against violence, both at home and abroad. It also includes a landmark provision that prioritizes ending child marriage around the world. Nearly one third of all girls in developing countries will marry before they turn 18, and studies have shown that these girls are more likely to be victims of violence than their peers who marry later. Gender-based violence is not inevitable – and it is time for it to stop. The global community must take strong and quick action to protect the rights and well-being of all women. The UN Foundation supports the United Nations’ important work to empower women who are vulnerable to violence, to strengthen laws and to provide resources to survivors.

“When a woman can live a life free from violence, have access to quality health care and economic opportunities, she has the power to choose her own path in life. This International Women’s Day, you can learn more about the UN Foundation's efforts for women and girls, and donate, to ensure that every woman is empowered to choose her path, paving the way for a better world for us all.”


About The United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit http://www.unfoundation.org.

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Katherine Brandon
United Nations Foundation
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