UN Trust Fund partners with Mary Kay to support survivors of violence during COVID-19
‘Our global partnerships […] will help us deepen and expand the scope of our fight to protect women and girls’ – Anne Crews, Mary Kay Inc.
Prompted by the alarming increase in violence against women and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mary Kay Inc., a US-based beauty and cosmetic company, together with the Mary Kay Foundation have partnered with the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund) to support front line women’s organizations providing services and resources for those most at risk.
To kick off the partnership, Melinda Foster Sellers, Chief People Officer of Mary Kay Inc., said:
“Today we join forces with the UN Trust Fund, […] remarkable stewards of women’s rights [...]. Together we are more determined than ever to achieve a world free of violence against women.”
Such partnerships with the private sector are vital at this time of crisis, and in properly resourcing and addressing the long-standing pandemic of violence against women. Aldijana Sisic, Chief, UN Trust Fund, commented:
“The lockdown measures to curb the coronavirus together with an overburdened healthcare and law enforcement systems leave women and girls survivors of violence in a dangerous limbo. In this context, women’s organizations around the world play the pivotal role as first responders for survivors. Now is the time to join forces, step up and support them to ensure no woman and girl is left alone behind walls of silence. We thank our partners in Mary Kay for leading by example with its contribution to this work and walking this path together with us.”
The Mary Kay Foundation is providing funds through the partnership to ensure that women’s organizations funded by the UN Trust Fund can meet the increased needs of survivors of violence during the lockdowns and isolation associated with the current public health pandemic.
Anne Crews, Vice-President of Public Affairs at Mary Kay and board member of The Mary Kay Foundation, said:
“Over the past 20 years […], we’ve supported nearly 6 million women and girls seeking shelter and services to be free from abuse. Our global partnership with the UN Trust Fund […] will help us deepen and expand the scope of our fight to protect women and girls.”
The UN Trust Fund is uniquely positioned to contribute to realizing this goal by directing funds quickly to high-quality initiatives, many of which are run by small, women-led and women’s rights organizations.
Over the last four years, the UN Trust Fund reached over 22 million individuals through projects working to prevent and end violence against women and girls. More than 1 million women and girls have benefited directly from services, empowerment activities and protection from violence.
At present, UN Trust Fund-supported projects are operating in 70 countries and territories. Aldijana Sisic explained why they are so essential:
“Violence against women is the most widespread violation of human rights globally and knows no boundaries. It is the most severe expression of discrimination, a persistent pandemic exacerbated by the current COVID-19 crisis.”