UNITED NATIONS – Reese Witherspoon was at the U.N. Tuesday as part of an effort to raise money for a fund to end violence against women worldwide.
The Academy Award-winning actress was promoting a $3 bracelet with an infinity symbol signifying opportunities for women. She is the paid "global ambassador" and global face for Avon Products, Inc.
The Avon Foundation pledged to match the first $500,000 in sales of the "Women's Empowerment Bracelet."
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Witherspoon said the money would go to a trust fund managed by the U.N. Development Fund for Women, or UNIFEM, to provide more education and job training for women and to push for new laws that benefit their standing in some countries.
"Every economic opportunity created for a woman helps a child, helps a community and raises awareness and education," Witherspoon said in an interview with The Associated Press. "Women who feel economically empowered are much more likely to stand up for their own rights, and the rights of their children."
Two of every three people living in poverty in the world are women, UNIFEM director Joanne Sandler said. And the violence against them is a pandemic hidden among the estimated $9.5 billion that criminal networks earn from human trafficking, mostly women and children.
Since its inception 11 years ago, the U.N. fund has granted nearly $18 million to 250 initiatives around the globe.