The UN Women for Peace Association (UNWFPA) gave their annual awards this year to Actor/Director Paul Bettany, Chairman and CEO of The Kraft Group Robert Kraft, and Bond No. 9. The Awards Luncheon ceremony celebrating International Women’s Day was held on March 6, 2015 at 11:30am at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The event was in collaboration with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC). Academy Award-winner Ron Howard introduced Bettany before he received UNWFPA’s Humanitarian Award. Jennifer Connelly, Bettany’s wife, was also in attendance, along with Rita Cosby, Richard Lui, Somaly Mam, AnnaLynne McCord, and Anna Strasberg. Participant in the ceremony also included UN officials and ambassadors, as well as a slew of philanthropists, celebrities, and members of the media. UNWFPA Patron H.E. Mrs. Ban Soon-taek, spouse of UN Secretary-General H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, and UNWFPA Board Chair Muna Rihani Al-Nasser, presented the awards. Robert Kraft received UNWFPA’s Achievement Award. Laurice Rahmé accepted the UNWFPA Peace Award on behalf of Bond No. 9.
UNWFPA’s annual awards luncheon was in celebration of International Women’s Day and this year’s theme was “Men to End Violence Against Women.” UNWFPA Board Chair Al-Nasser says, "ending violence against women is not just a women's issue, it is a men's issue as well. Men must stand up and speak out against this crime." The event raised awareness to the issue of violence against women. Funds from the luncheon support the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women. Al-Nasser, Rema DuPont, and Deirdre Imus werd co-chairs for the event.
UNWFPA board member Barbara Winston says, “Human liberty has been born of earnest struggle. The people dedicated to correcting injustice and oppression of women and girls have to work together deliberately. This is a battle: soldiers get ready. UN Women For Peace Association and their partners take on this challenge.”
Paul Bettany was honored for his consistent and positive stance on women’s issues, including making a new film Shelter, which explores the plight of homeless women in New York City, starring his wife Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Mackie. Bettany wrote, produced, and directed Shelter, which was produced by Robert Ogden Barnum, Paul Bettany, Katie Mustard, Daniel Wagner and executive produced by Dana Brown, Melanie Greene, Cassian Elwes, Clay Floren and Kevin Scott Frakes. The Film will be distributed by Screen Media with a targeted release date of November 6, 2015.
Robert Kraft was honored for everything the NFL, and especially the New England Patriots, are doing to bring awareness of violence against women to the public and show how men must be at the forefront of ending such violence.
"Men have to take a leading role in the prevention of violence against women,” says Kraft. “We have a tremendous opportunity, and social obligation, to work with advocates likes the UN Women for Peace Association to accomplish this mission. I am honored to accept this award and look forward to continuing our work towards this goal.”
Bond No. 9 was honored for their continuous support of UNWFPA, their corporate ambition to spread peace internationally, and their new attempt to raise money for the cause with their Scents of Peace for men and women.
“Bond No. 9 is humbled to be honored by UNWFPA,” Rahmé says. “We’ve always admired their work and the commitment they have to ridding the world of violence against women.”
UN Women for Peace Association is engaging a global audience in conversation about violence against women with an international social media campaign, #IWalk4Women, leading up to a joint march with UN Women on March 8th from the United Nations to Times Square. Recognizing that violence against women is a problem that affects communities across socioeconomic, demographic, and geographic divides, the #IWalk4Women campaign utilizes the power of social media to engage a vast diversity of people to join the call for change.
Paul Bettany, filmed a Public Service Announcement with UNWFPA’s partner, The 92nd Street Y, to spread awareness of violence against women and encourage others to participate in #IWalk4Women.
Participants in #IWalk4Women are taking videos of their own feet walking four steps and uploading them, using the hashtag, to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and adding their own voices, stories, and experiences. They are tagging friends to participate and film their own steps as well. The goal is to walk millions of steps across the world to end violence against women.
#IWalk4Women aims to stress how united the world must be in confronting the epidemic of violence against women and how the power to change lives and behaviors lies with everyone, not only a few leaders and activists
The Awards Luncheon was sponsored by Bond No. 9, CIBJO, CIFA, Doha Bank, Global Citizen Forum (GCF), JGroup, Scientific Humanistic Research Foundation AM, The Sherrill Foundation, and Universal Peace Federation. Collaborating with UNWFPA and UNAOC on the luncheon were Al Jazeera America, The Huffington Post, the Institute of International Education (IIE), The 92nd Street Y, and Private Violence.
Photos by Clint Spaulding/PatrickMcMullan.com & Jemal Countess/Getty Images North America