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Woman of the Week: Alyse Nelson

Dec 3, 2018


In honour of the UN’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, this week’s woman of the week is Alyse Nelson, President and CEO of Vital Voices, the global NGO she co-founded in 1997. The Avon Foundation for Women formally launched its global collaboration with Vital Voices in 2010, and has contributed more than $3.2 million worth of grants to Vital Voices, as part of the Avon Promise to Help End Violence Against Women & Girls.

Alyse is also the bestselling author of ‘Vital Voices: The Power of Women Leading Change Around the World’ and she is passionate about giving women a voice and supporting and investing in women leaders.

She says, “The evidence is conclusive: when more women work, economies grow. Increasing women’s workforce participation boosts GDP, and we know that when women have access to credit, there’s a stream of positive ripple effects for their families’ health and education, their local community and national economy.”

As one of world’s largest microlenders, Avon has been empowering women since 1886 by offering them a unique earnings opportunity, and the chance to be financially independent. Often, financial dependence is a barrier to escaping an abusive partner, so by helping support women to earn their own money, Avon can be a lifeline.

Alyse says, “We won’t unlock women’s economic potential or fully realise women’s rights if we don’t find innovative ways to end violence. We need to encourage unlikely collaborators and untested ideas. When women have better access to support, societies become safer for everyone, and economies thrive.” That’s just one reason that when women have better access to support, societies become safer for everyone, and economies thrive.

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