The Change Maker

Kirsten Bell Launches WPHF 40by20 for Women

“Women are so much more than 1 percent of the solution.” Actress and WPHF Global Advocate Kristen Bell declared at an evening reception during the 73rd United Nations General Assembly.

The event rallied support for local women’s organizations who are working to build peace, create economic opportunity, protect human rights, and improve humanitarian conditions in their communities.

Powerful testimonies were delivered at the event by Maria Ximena, from Colombia, and Marie Concessa, from Burundi, who are part of grassroots women’s organizations that are working to build peace and stability in their countries.

“I come from a region [in Colombia] where the military confrontation between armed actors was the daily life of living, where walking on trails and paths could involve the activation of anti-personnel mines; where free movement in the territory was prohibited…where access to food was restricted… violating our basic human rights,” said Maria Ximena.

“I come from a region where women have historically been frightened and silenced, made invisible, abused, and limited to the care and nurturing of their children, as well as not being able to freely participate and be a candidate in political elections. The peace agreement has become a possibility for women to be reborn… It is in this process of rebirth where the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund has come to give us their support.”.

Ms. Bell also launched WPHF’s 40 by 20 for Women campaign that evening to raise $40 million by the end of 2020 for WPHF. The year 2020 is the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, which first recognized women’s right and value in building peace and improving humanitarian conditions in their countries. The $40 million goal will enable WPHF to begin supporting women’s organizations in 19 additional countries.

Moderated by CBS News Chief Foreign Correspondent Lara Logan, the evening highlighted generous commitments from the governments of Australia, Austria, Canada, Ireland, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom and garnered close to 6 million USD in new pledged contributions.

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