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As part of the “Say NO to violence against women”, the AVON Company has awarded a donation to the Autonomous Women’s Center for the continuation of the implementation and improvement of the project “I can say no – Love is not violence”, with the aim of support to education of youth on different types of violence.

Violence against women represents one of the most frequent forms of the violation of human rights in the world, stated Miroslava Marjanovic Pavlovic, AVON director for the Adriatic region during the award ceremony. She pointed out that women’s empowerment was an inseparable part of the company’s mission and that work together with the Autonomous Women’s Center would focus on the improvement of the social status of women.

“I believe that this organization and its team of peer educators can contribute to raising awareness of girls in Serbia about their rights, to increasing self-respect and recognition of violence, so that they can efficiently stand up to it.” – Marjanovic Pavlovic concluded.

“I can say no” is the first project is Serbia that directly and openly communicates with youth about partner relationships. Up to now, it has been implemented in secondary schools and faculties in 15 cities throughout Serbia, and AVON’s donation will support its continuation and improvement.

„Besides being a confirmation of women’s strength and solidarity which we need in the fight against violence, this donation will also help us continue our efforts to reach a greater number of youth. In addition to workshops in schools, AVON’s donation will help us organize an event that focuses on another important part of girls’ lives, and that is mutual support and solidarity. During one weekend, we will gather 60 girls from different parts of Serbia, in order for them to build their women’s networks of friendship and strength.” – stated Sanja Pavlovic from the Autonomous Women’s Center.

As an expression of gratitude, the Autonomous Women’s Center presented representatives of AVON with a pink cape of self-confidence, who promised to use it to empower as many girls in Serbia as possible and encourage them to say NO to violence.

The cape, symbolizing women’s strength and courage, is the creative solution of famous designer Ana Ljubinkovic, and her contribution to the “Say NO to violence against women” campaign. Numerous celebrities also expressed their support to the campaign, such as actors Isidora Simijonovic and Dara Dzokic, television presenter Maja Nikolic, singer Ivana Peters and sportswoman Natasa Kovacevic.

„I would like to remind you that society teaches us that pink is a color for girls, as if it was worth less because of this. But guess what? Pink is just a color. And today we are confirming that it is strong, self-confident, brave, proud, intelligent, fearless, dignified and funny – just like every woman is”, were Sanja Pavlovic’s concluding words.

The Autonomous Women’s Center is grateful to the AVON Company for this donation.

The full speech of the representative of the Autonomous Women’s Center is available in Serbian at this link.


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