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UN Women and Nicole Kidman Honored


BERLIN – On Friday, Cinema for Peace Foundation honored UN Women, the United Nations organization tasked to advance women's empowerment and gender equality, and its Goodwill Ambassador, Academy Award-winning actress Nicole Kidman. Nicole Kidman received a special honorary award for her long-term social engagement for women’s rights together with Lakshmi Puri, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Acting Head of UN Women. Among others, the high-profile advocacy evening was supported by human rights advocates such as the Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador Bianca Jagger and the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda. 

Nicole Kidman was appointed as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador to promote and protect women’s rights worldwide, a cause she has since tirelessly supported. A special focus of her efforts has been on ending violence against women. Nicole Kidman has travelled to meet with survivors of sexual violence and raise attention for this pervasive human rights violation. She has also served as the international spokesperson for the UN Women’s “Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women” initiative. Say NO has been supported by Cinema for Peace in 2008 with Catherine Deneuve and others, while raising 100.000 USD. 

In an evening where promoting the rights of women was the key leitmotif, Nicole Kidman said in her acceptance speech, “I have learned much about the horrific scope of violence against women around the world and seen its devastating impact. When I first learned that one in three women and girls experience violence in their lifetime, I was utterly shocked. Much of my work for UN Women has been since dedicated to this issue.” While speaking about her motivation to work for women's rights, she said, "I will continue to work for women's rights for the rest of my life. It's in my blood, as my feminist mother already fought for these rights."

UN Women was established in 2010 to serve as a global champion to advance women’s empowerment and gender equality, dedicated to upholding the rights of women and girls worldwide. The organization is acting on the fundamental premise that every woman has the right to live a life free from violence, poverty, and discrimination, and that gender equality is central to achieving development.

Assistant Secretary-General and UN Women Acting Head Lakshmi Puri also received an honorary award. She expressed the need for strong partnerships for women’s empowerment and gender equality, “There is so much to do. Right now, we are looking to Egypt where UN Women has supported women since the early stages of the democratic transition. At this crucial juncture, women must be part of a peaceful and democratic dialogue to determine the country’s future.” She added, ”In Syria, too, women must fully take part in the mediation and reconciliation process.”

The laudatory remarks were delivered by Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda, who received a long standing ovation after being called on stage, and Veronica Ferres, who mentioned inter alia girls' rights and education activist Malala Yousafzai and the Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador Bianca Jagger as crucial figures in the fight for women's and human rights.
We invite you to watch the following trailers on the topic of women's rights:
  • CLASS DISMISSED by Adam B. Ellick, Winner of the Cinema for Peace Award for Justice 2013, recounts the life of the 15-year-old girls' rights and education activist Malala Yousufzai in the Swat valley of Pakistan while the Taliban vows to close down schools.
  • IRON JAWED ANGELS by Katja von Garnier depicts how defiant young activists take the women's suffrage movement by storm, putting their lives at risk to help American women win the right to vote.
  • PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL by Gini Reticker recounts how a group of women rise up to peace to Liberia and help bring to power the country's first female head of state.