On February 28, 2012, the Avon Foundation for Women hosted its first-ever Avon Communications Awards: Speaking Out About Violence Against Women, as part of its support for delegates at the 2nd World Conference of Women’s Shelters.

2012 Awards:

THE STORYTELLING AWARD recognizes an organization’s artful use of storytelling to increase knowledge and awareness about violence against women and to inspire action. The winner of the Storytelling Award is:

Women’s Aid, United Kingdom, http://www.womensaid.org.uk

THE INNOVATION AWARD recognizes innovative and unique approaches to communicating about violence against women. The winner of the Innovation Award is:

YWCA Canada, www.ywcacanada.ca

THE BREAK THE SILENCE AWARD recognizes communications materials that encourage individuals or communities to step in and speak out against violence against women. The winner of the Break the Silence Award is:

Rwanda Women’s Network http://www.rwandawomennetwork.org

THE GLOBAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNICATIONS recognizes a campaign that is global, long-lasting, and employs communications strategies that can be easily replicated across the world to stop violence against women. The winner of the Global Award for Excellence in Communications is:

Breakthrough, Bell Bajao! (Ring the bell against Domestic Violence), India, http://breakthrough.tv/learn/campaign/bell-bajao-ring-the-bell

You can read more about the winners on the Avon Foundation website.


The awards were presented by Reese Witherspoon, Avon Global Ambassador and Honorary Chairman of the Avon Foundation for Women, and Andrea Jung, Chairman and CEO of Avon Products, Inc.

The Avon Foundation for Women extends its gratitude to the following individuals who served as judges for these awards. Experts in both communications and the issues, they reviewed materials from the 19 organizations that were considered for these awards. Special thanks to:

Joan Libby Hawk, President of Libby Hawk Associates, United States

Bandana Rana, President of Saathi and the Nepal National Network to End Domestic Violence, Nepal

Margarita Guillé, Executive Coordinator of the Interamerican Network of Women’s Shelters, Mexico

Maria Stetter Rubin, Head of Communication at Danner, Denmark


Nominees:

The following 19 organizations were  nominated for their outstanding use of communications to help end violence against women in four award categories:

THE STORYTELLING AWARD recognizes an organization’s artful use of storytelling to increase knowledge and awareness about violence against women and to inspire action. The nominees for the Storytelling Award are:

• Bexar County Family Justice Center, The United States, www.bcfjc.org

• Center for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender - Family - Women and Adolescents (CSAGA), Vietnam, http://www.csaga.org.vn

• Women’s Aid, United Kingdom, http://www.womensaid.org.uk

• Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse, The United States,http://www.emergecenter.org

• Fundación Ana Bella, Spain, http://fundacionanabella.org

THE INNOVATION AWARD recognizes innovative and unique approaches to communicating about violence against women. The nominees for the Innovation Award are:

• Australian Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, The Line Campaign, Australia, www.theline.gov.au

• Manitoba Department of Family Services and Labour, Family Violence Prevention Program, Canada, http://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/fvpp/index.html

• SOS Hotline for Women and Children Victims of Violence Niksic, Montenegro, http://sosnk.org

• YWCA Canada, Canada, www.ywcacanada.ca

THE BREAK THE SILENCE AWARD recognizes communications materials that encourage individuals or communities to step in and speak out against violence against women. The nominees for the Break the Silence Award are:

• Polaris Project, The United States & Japan, www.PolarisProject.org

• Rwanda Women’s Network, Rwanda, http://www.rwandawomennetwork.org

• Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres, Kanawayhitowin Community Action Campaign to Prevent Woman Abuse in the Aboriginal Community, Canada, http://www.kanawayhitowin.ca

• London Abused Women’s Centre, Shine the Light on Woman Abuse, Canada, http://lawc.on.ca/shinethelight

• Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, The Red Flag Campaign, The United States, www.TheRedFlagCampaign.org

THE GLOBAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNICATIONS recognizes a campaign that is global, long-lasting, and employs communications strategies that can be easily replicated across the world to stop violence against women. The nominees for the Global Award for Excellence in Communications are:

• Chocolate Moose Media, No Excuses!, Canada & Switzerland, www.noexcusescampaign.org

• Center for Women’s Global Leadership, 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign, The United States, http://16dayscwgl.rutgers.edu

• Breakthrough, Bell Bajao! (Ring the bell against Domestic Violence), India, http://breakthrough.tv/learn/campaign/bell-bajao-ring-the-bell

• UN Women, Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence Against Women, Headquartered at the United Nations in New York City, The United States, http://saynotoviolence.org

• White Ribbon Campaign, Canada,http://www.whiteribbon.ca


More information about the Avon Communications Awards judges:

JOAN LIBBY HAWK

United States

President, Libby Hawk Associates

Joan has been involved in supporting human rights and women's rights throughout her career, working in nongovernmental organizations, government and international organizations. A communications and development specialist, she has helped organizations – local, state, national and international – define strategies, create impactful programs and implement successful public advocacy initiatives. She has been particularly involved in ending violence against women and children.

Before starting Libby Hawk Associates in 2010, for more than nine years Joan guided public affairs and outreach for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the United Nations organization working in more than 80 countries to realize women's human rights. She expanded and diversified the organization's funding base, sharpened its public profile and developed long-term partnerships with companies, celebrities, NGOs and other UN agencies to strengthen groundbreaking work to end violence against women and promote women's human rights, economic empowerment and equality. Joan was an architect of UNIFEM's global Say NO to Violence against Women campaign that utilized cutting edge, Internet-based, interactive technology to garner more than five million signatures from around the world in its first phase. To advance gender equality in the private sector, she spearheaded the creation of the Women's Empowerment Principles - Equality Means Business, seven steps that businesses can take to open opportunities for women in the workplace, marketplace and community.

BANDANA RANA

Nepal

President of Saathi and the Nepal National Network to End Domestic Violence

Bandana Rana is one of the leading players of the women's movement in Nepal with more than two decades of active engagement in promoting women's rights and gender equality. She is currently the executive chair of Saathi, an NGO working on violence against women and children in Nepal since 1992. Ms. Rana is the regional coordinator of the South Asian Campaign for Gender Equality (SACGE) and has led the campaign in the region since 2006.

Ms. Rana has a background in gender, media and development and has led several advocacy programs for women’s rights that focus on media interventions and enhancing participatory communication at all levels – community, national and regional. She has led many studies and research programs related to sexual and gender-based violence during the conflict and post-conflict situations of Nepal. She is actively engaged in promoting women, peace and security issues in Nepal and the South Asia region. She has conducted trainings for NGOs, media, government officials and the security sector in Nepal and Afghanistan on women, peace and gender-responsive security. She is also a member of the UNESCAP Asia Pacific Advisory Group for Women, Peace and Security.

Ms. Rana is the former Chairperson of the National Women’s Commission. She has worked as news editor/anchor for Nepal Television for two decades and also served on the board of directors of Radio Nepal and Press Council Nepal. She was the founder and first elected president of Sancharika Samuha (Forum of Women in Media) and has worked as a gender and communications consultant, at different times, with UNDP, UNIFEM, UNICEF and FAO.

MARGARITA GUILLÉ

Mexico

Executive Coordinator of the Interamerican Network of Women's Shelters

Margarita Guillé is Executive Coordinator of the Interamerican Network of Women's Shelters. She set up the first shelter for women in Mexico in 1996 and co-founded the National Network of Shelters in 1999. From 2005 to 2010, Ms. Guillé was chair executive of the National Network of Shelters, where she created programs that empowered women and helped to end violence against women.

As director of the Mexican National Network she lobbied to obtain funds for NGO shelters, securing more than $52 million from the Mexican Congress in five years, and helped to increase the number of shelters from 17 in 2005 to 80 in 2010.

She established and directed a magazine focused on gender, Contemporary Woman, from 1993 to 2005. She has been published in more than 25 books, including the Model for Referrals to Shelters, Guide for Autonomy, Self-esteem and Advocacy for Rural and Indigenous Women, Violence Against Women and the Media, Model of the National Network of Shelters, Protocol for Police Assertive Intervention on Violence against Women Emergencies, and Guide for Teams' High Performance while Working with Violence, among others. She launched the first and second Interamerican Meeting of Women’s Shelters in Mexico in 2006 and 2009.

Ms. Guillé is the founder of the Interamerican Network of Women’s Shelters, which has 17 countries as members, and together they have developed protocols for international referrals for migrant and trafficked women. Currently, she is a member of the Committee of Experts for the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence Against Women, (Belém Do Pará), at the Organization of American States of the United Nations. Margarita is also a founding member of the Global Network of Women’s Shelters where she coordinates the International Policies Committee and is a member of the executive board of the GNWS.

MARIA STETTER RUBIN

Denmark

Head of Communication at Danner

Maria Stetter Rubin is Head of Communication at Danner, a Danish humanitarian organization that campaigns both nationally and internationally to end violence against women and children.

Maria has a Bachelor’s degree in Rhetoric and a Master’s degree in Media Science from Copenhagen University. Maria has over 14 years of experience within the communication field working for renowned Danish companies and institutions as well as her own business projects. Maria also has taught classes in media science at the university. Since joining Danner in April 2008, she has worked to professionalize Danner’s communication activity, developing the strategic foundation for the organization’s work with campaigns, fundraising, PR and general education. Danner runs a women’s shelter, and the organization also works toward replacing myths about violence with facts and taking active measures to prevent violence and create a safer society for women and children. Maria currently is an executive board member and Chair of Communication and Awareness in the Global Network of Women’s Shelters.