UN campaign calls for corporate involvment

Engaging with men can help change attitudes about violence against women, says Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon.

Engaging with men can help change attitudes about violence against women, says Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon.

This morning, I attended a UN event, where Ban talked about the UN's "Unite to End Violence Against Women" campaign and called for additional involvement from the corporate sector to help reduce and eliminate violence against women worldwide.

The campaign began engaging men in 2009 with the creation of the Network of Men Leaders, a network of political leaders, activists, community leaders, and religious leaders. The network will add include corporate leaders starting in 2011.

An interesting element of the campaign is an online game called Breakaway that was launched at the World Cup. The soccer game is targeted at boys, aged 9 to 15 years old, and addresses gender equality and racial stereotypes.

Margery Kraus, CEO of APCO Worldwide, was a speaker at the morning event. She talked about the costs of violence against women in the workplace, noting that $800 million in lost productivity is reported each year due to violence against women. She called the issue "the hidden global scandal of this century."

The "Unite" campaign, which launched in 2008, aims to raise $100 million from the private sector by 2015. The event also honored Glamour Magazine's editor-in-chief Cindi Leive and Avon Product's chair and CEO Andrea Jung.

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