International Women’s Day Marks Effort to End Violence

Washington, D.C.

March 8, 2007


Megan Rabbitt

Speaking at a luncheon hosted by the United Nations Foundation, the UN Information Center, and the Women’s Foreign Policy Group, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations Jane Holl Lute celebrated International Women’s Day and urged the audience to work together to end violence against women and girls worldwide. Luncheon speakers also included Kathy Bushkin Calvin of the United Nations Foundation and Washington Post Diplomatic Correspondent Nora Boustany.

“Today is the day to remind ourselves that we all have a role in making the world a better place by ensuring that girls can grow up in a safe and secure environment, without fear of violence or exploitation, and that women have the opportunities they need to prosper as individuals and support their families and communities,” said Calvin, United Nations Foundation executive vice president. “When girls are educated, healthy, and financially literate, they are a cornerstone of successful societies. We can break the poverty cycle by supporting women and girls.”

“Violence against women is the most common but least punished crime in the world,” said Will Davis, director of the United Nations Information Center. “The Secretary-General said it best today, ‘Empowering women is not only a goal in itself. It is a condition for building better lives for everyone on the planet.’”

The theme of this International Women’s Day this year is “Ending Impunity for Violence against Women and Girls.” The website of the United Nations Foundation’s Better World Campaign ( is featuring ways in which the UN helps improve the lives of women and girls. The Foundation’s “The People Speak” ( campaign is running a “Who Inspires You?” feature that includes responses from a diverse group of women including Queen Rania of Jordan and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Note to the editor: A webcast of Jane Holl Lute’s presentation “Peacekeeping: Protecting Peace, Protecting People” will be available at both and

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