The UN Women for Peace Association had a full day of events in celebration International Women’s Day and the 10 year anniversary of the organization.
Opening Bell NYSE
The New York Stock Exchange opening bell ringing honored International Women’s Day. HRH Princess Camilla Of Bourbon Two Sicilies rang the bell with her friends Dame Muna Rihani Al-Nasser and Barbara Winston, all board members of UN Women for Peace Association (UNWFPA)
UN Headquarters, UNWFPA Annual Award Luncheon
Bridget Moynahan, the actress and activist, served as master of ceremonies when awards were presented to model Ashley Graham, The First Lady of Panama Lorena Castillo De Varela, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sheikha Rima Al-Sabah, and philanthropist Eve Branson. Award presenters included Ambassador Nikki Haley, United States Permanent Representative to The United Nations.
UN Women for Peace Association’s Chair Muna Rihani Al-Nasser and President Barbara Winston bestowed awards to four individuals who have made a difference in the lives of women and girls. First Lady of Panama, Lorena Castillo De Varela, received the Leadership Award for her work as a Special Ambassador of UNAIDS for Latin America and as a global spokesperson for the Zero Discrimination Movement. H.E. Ambassador Nikki Haley, United States Permanent Representative to The United Nations presented National Goodwill Ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sheikha Rima Al-Sabah with the Peace Award for her outstanding work with refugees. Model Ashley Graham received the Women’s Empowerment Award for her work as a body activist. HH Princess Lalla Joumala Alaoui Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the US presented Eve Branson with the Achievement Award for her foundation’s work in the Atlas Mountains.
The Luncheon Chairs were Cristiana Andrade, Geoffrey Bradfield, Susan Gutfreund, Francine LeFrak, Greg Schnackel, and Ling Tian. The Young Host Committee Chair was Andrea J. Catsimatidis. Singer Mary Brown sang the opening number A Natural Women in a cappella. UNWFPA’s Ambassador for Peace, H.R.H. The Princess Camilla Of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duchess of Castro, also spoke.
UNWFPA’S Chairman, Dame Muna Rihani Al-Nasser, proclaimed, “Five years ago, we started a march (March in March) to end violence against women in celebration of International Women’s Day. It started at the UN which represents a symbol of freedom for everyone. We also launched our annual Awards Luncheon in 2014 to celebrate International Women’s Day and to honor people who are working effortlessly for women and girl’s issues. It is a vehicle to generate funding for our programs. This year, the UNWFPA is moving the March in March from the streets of NYC to social media, bringing together an international community to be part of our crusade to STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN.”
UNWFPA’s President, Barbara Winston, declared, “We must engage boys and men to be part of the solution when it comes to sexual harassment and violence against women. WE MUST STAND TOGETHER BECAUSE WOMEN’S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS.”
2018 LEADERSHIP AWARD WINNER: Honoree Lorena Castillo De Varela, “As leaders, we have a great responsibility before the world. Our mindsets have to change; we all have the same rights. We all deserve to live with dignity. Discrimination is a serious violation of human rights; it is immoral, offensive and inhumane. Be the transformation you want to see!” The First Lady of Panama went on to say, “I am convinced that respect, defense and the promotion of human rights are fundamental and key conditions for achieving the sustainable development that we all desire. We must work together on the tasks that we still have pending to achieve a more just and equitable world, where we all treat each other with respect and dignity. Be the transformation you want to see.”
2018 PEACE AWARD WINNER: Honoree Sheikha Rima Al-Sabah, “In my role as UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, I am astutely aware of the challenges that refugees face, and I applaud the amazing support that UNWFPA is providing for the education of Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon.”
2018 WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT AWARD WINNER: Honoree Ashley Graham, “I am honored to receive the UN Women for Peace Association’s 2018 Women’s Empowerment Award at the UN on International Women’s Day. A significant amount of time is spent on empowering women and this award truly is an honor.” Ashley Graham continued, “We need to work together to define the global image of beauty and it starts with becoming your own role model. Receiving UNWFPA’s Women’s Empowerment Award gives me yet another platform to change the world.” Graham went on to say “I believe human rights are women’s right! The work UNWFPA is doing to educate Syrian Refugee Girls in Lebanon and end violence against women is inspirational. If we all work together we can make an impact.”
2018 ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNER: Honoree Eve Branson “It is with humble thanks that I receive this award from the UN Women for Peace Association. To be recognized for the work we do in Morocco helping our communities to help themselves, is a great honour and the Eve Branson Foundation team are incredibly proud – this award is as much in recognition of their efforts as it is mine. I do hope that being here will raise awareness of our work in Morocco and allow us to continue to grow and support these wonderful communities in diverse and successful ways.”
Other Notable Guests included: Prince Carlo of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duke of Castro, Princess Maria Carolina, Duchess of Calabria and Palermo, and Princess Maria Chiara, Duchess of Capri in Rome, Monaco and Paris, H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Nicky Hilton Rothschild, Rachel Roy, Reem Acra, Flaviana Matata, Serinda Swan, Kota Eberhardt, Tao Okamoto, Rema DuPont, Michal Grayevsky, Stephanie Winston and Linda Wells.
Panel Discussion “The Role of Media to Empower Women”
Actresses Edie Falco and Cicely Tyson, Hearst Chief Content Officer Joanna Coles, Nickelodeon’s Cyma Zarghami, and UN Correspondents Association’s Sherwin Bryce-Pease participated in a panel discussion, “The Role of Media to Empower Women” moderated by Joan Lunden in the Trusteeship Council Chamber at the United Nations.
At the event Al Jazeera Media Network was presented with the first annual UN Women for Peace Association Awareness Award for the role its documentaries have had in promoting understanding and awareness of the plight of women and girls around the world.
UNWFPA’s President, Barbara Winston, said, “In our inaugural year of the UNWFPA Awareness Award, it is my distinct pleasure to give the award to Al Jazeera for their extensive work on women’s and girls issues across the planet. The programming on Al Jazeera on women and girls issues is exemplary and we’re happy for the work that Al Jazeera has done and continues to do. Often going into dangerous war zones to get their stories, Al Jazeera journalists, many of whom are women themselves, risk their lives to bring to the world the stories that matter.”