UN Women 






Nicole Kidman plays Satine in the 2001 musical Moulin Rouge

2 0 0 5 - Actress Nicole Kidman for Chanel No 5. Photo by Baz Luhrmann

Photo: Australia - a 2008 epic historical romance film directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.

Recently, Nicole Kidman was in Vienna to help OMEGA launch new models in its Ladymatic collection and to introduce the global advertising campaign for the collection. The multi-media campaign features Ms Kidman, who has been the “face of Ladymatic” since its international debut in 2010.


Mention Nicole Kidman to most people around the world and they will immediately tell you that she is a world famous, award winning Australian actress with an impressive list of film credits & international modeling successes to her name and of course that she has an ex husband called Brad Pitt.

Not many people will be aware that she was actually born in Honolulu, Hawaii: even less will know the name of her second husband since 2006.  Few will associate her in the role of a passionate advocate for women’s rights, an astute politician, a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador who continually highlights the plight of the less fortunate and vulnerable – as she travels the globe actively supporting various charities. 



*DIIA is tracking visits to this website of over 5 to 20 minutes in length from over 91 countries around the world. Now seen throughout China/ 58 Cities.




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The strength of DIIA lies in its international network of personal contacts - often senior personnel attached to government, military, security, law enforcement, O&G, maritime, offshore, sub-sea engineering & alternative energy sectors plus research establishments who – interacting with each other – all wish to highlight the positive roles of global armed forces and linked services with local communities  - whilst promoting their products & systems (often, originally developed to enhance military capability – but advances that also provide immense benefits to civilians worldwide.


20% North America 14% China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan 11% India, Pakistan, Bangladesh 11% Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea 10% UK, European Community, Scandinavia, Russia  8% Middle East inc. Iraq/ Afghanistan 8% Central & South America 7% Africa 7% Australasia 4% Other

28% Senior personnel attached to Marine, Shipping, Ports, Offshore, Subsea & O&G projects 22% Global government departments, diplomatic circles (Defense, Security, Intelligence, Law Enforcement, Maritime, Energy, Environment) 21% Senior command in Army, Navy, Air Force, Auxiliary Services, Coast Guard in 27 countries 19% Board Members & Senior Management of Organizations, Corporations & Companies linked to Defense, Maritime, Shipping, Ship Building, Naval Architecture, Ports & Harbors, O&G, Offshore, Subsea & Renewable Energy Sectors. 7% EMS, Search & Rescue, First Responders, Disaster Relief NGO’s 3% Research Establishments & Universities 3% Other


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UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman recently received the Humanitarian Award of the Kuwait-America Foundation for her work on behalf of women around the world, along with a donation of $250,000. The funds will benefit a UN Women initiative in one of Jordan’s poorest rural areas to enhance women’s economic empowerment.









Nicole Kidman has a history of being involved in philanthropic endeavors with dual citizenship in the United States and Australia. In January of 2006, Kidman took on the role of goodwill ambassador of the United Nations Development Fund for Women, also known as UNIFEM, and now called UN Women. Kidman works primarily towards raising awareness on the infringement of women’s human rights around the world with her main focus on violence against women. According to the UN, violence affects nearly one in three women around the world.

Kidman has been particularly involved in UN Women’s Say NO- Unite to End Violence Against Women Initiative. This initiative has become a global advocacy effort that has galvanized millions on the issue. Additionally, she has worked to make the voices of women survivors of violence heard in the media and has helped to raise funds for programs addressing violence against women.

Kidman’s philanthropic work does not stop with UN Women. She has also done a great deal for UNICEF serving as the UNICEF ambassador for Australia. Kidman has also served as a patron of the Australian Theatre for Young People in Sydney, Australia. Over the past three years, she has also served as an honorary patron of FARA, an organization working to help orphaned children in Africa. In the United States, Kidman has also advocated for women’s cancer research, recently becoming the first chair of the Women’s Health Fund at UCLA.









Tenuous Women’s Rights


0908_Afg2.jpgUnfortunately, Nicole Kidman - UN Goodwill Ambassador will not be short of injustices to bring to the attention of governments and communities in future months and years. You’d need a library of books and reports just to list the violations and incidents of abuse around our globe that have taken place in just the first few months of this year alone.

Only this week, conservative religious lawmakers in Afghanistan blocked legislation Saturday aimed at strengthening provisions for women's freedom, arguing that parts of it violated Islamic principles and encouraged disobedience. The fierce opposition highlights how tenuous women's rights remain a dozen years after the ouster of the hard-line Taliban regime, whose strict interpretation of Islam once kept Afghan women virtual prisoners in their homes.

Khalil Ahmad Shaheedzada, a conservative lawmaker for Herat, said the legislation was withdrawn shortly after being introduced in parliament due to an uproar by religious parties who said parts of the law are un-Islamic. The Law on Elimination of Violence Against Women has been in effect since 2009, but only by presidential decree. It is being brought before parliament now because lawmaker Fawzia Kofi, a women's rights activist, wants to cement it with a parliamentary vote to prevent its potential reversal by any future president who might be tempted to repeal it to satisfy hard-line religious parties.

The law criminalizes, among other things, child marriage and forced marriage, and bans "baad", the traditional practice of selling and buying women to settle disputes. It also makes domestic violence a crime punishable by up to three years and specifies that rape victims should not face criminal charges for fornication or adultery.

Kofi, who plans to run for president in next year's elections, said she was disappointed because, among those who oppose upgrading the law from presidential decree to legislation passed by parliament, are women. Afghanistan's parliament has more than 60 female lawmakers.


Why Should a Defense Publication Examine Women’s Human Rights? 2013, the armed forces of most nations would find it hard to be quite so effective as they are without the many females that make up today’s modern global army, navy and air force units. A woman’s contribution to the military (often in conflict zones as well as standard operations) is invaluable. Each serving member of the armed forces should expect protection from abuse within their ranks.

There are nearly 205,000 women in the active duty military, nearly 15 percent of the total, and women will be integrated in frontline combat roles by 2016.

General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week the military is losing the confidence of women members because of the sexual assault "crisis."

Changing the culture in an armed forces of 1.4 million people is an enormous challenge.

"These are behemoth organizations. They are enormous. They have attempted to deal with the very difficult problem of sexual assault," said Anne Munch, a former prosecutor who has worked as a consultant on sexual assault issues with the military for more than a decade.

"You have to attack the problem in a lot of different ways, and there's no one answer and there's no silver bullet."

Recently, testimonials on Capitol Hill came just before President Barack Obama met with his top defense officials at the White House.
The President commented, "Not only is abuse a crime, not only is it shameful and disgraceful, but it also is going to make and has made a military less effective than it can be."

Top U.S. military officials have vowed to root out sexual abuse, a persistent problem in all branches of the armed forces. The victims of sexual battery, harassment and stalking are mostly female members of the military, but men also have reported assaults.  In some cases, the perpetrators turned out to be officers tasked with preventing abuse. Sexual misconduct in the ranks remains a problem despite recently enacted preventive measures, making it clear that the military alone cannot solve it. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said as much at a press conference Friday.  But he said rooting out the problem is his priority.
"Our force structure - it's the fabric of our system. No matter how many new technologies we employ and how much the quality of our technology and our weaponry gives us an edge - and it does - no matter how much money we have, it won't work unless your people make it work. And so it has to be at the center of our focus of leadership and our priorities."
The Army this week confirmed that a third officer in charge of preventing sexual assaults is implicated in a harassment case.

General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for increased awareness of the problem among the troops.
"Every single member of the joint force, in every unit at every level must be alert to the problem and be part of the solution. Working together we can and will restore faith in ourselves and the trust and faith of the American people."
Several sexual abuse survivors testified in Washington Thursday.  Jennifer Norris said that military commanders often ignore or marginalize the victims. "The system is rigged against the victims," she said. A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday that would take prosecution of sexual assaults in the armed forces out of the chain of command. That would prevent superior officers from handling, or even dismissing, the cases of their subordinates.

Soldiers and officers receive sexual assault prevention training at all levels. New recruits are drilled on a set of 10 rules, from "sexual assault is a crime" and "no always means no" to "stop sexual hazing, bullying and assault" and "be a leader, not a passive bystander."

To some however, the training can come off as half-hearted.

The Protect Our Defenders victims' advocacy group said an Air Force officer told them that a course he took consisted of being given two brochures to read and being told to sign a paper saying he had come to the class.




It’s not so long ago that Chinese Actress Bai Ling told the world that she is slowly having to confront a dark chapter from her past: sexual abuse she suffered as a teenager at the hands of Chinese army officers. Bai, 44, who was a soldier in a People's Liberation Army performance troupe from age 14 to 17, confirmed that she was "opening a wound that was very secret to myself, that even my parents don't know." She went on top say that therapy she received during a U.S. reality TV series helped her understand what she endured in the 1980s and the psychological marks it left on her.

She was pressed to have sex with her superiors, with one encounter leading to pregnancy and an abortion under an assumed name, Bai said, “other women serving with me in Tibet were also forced into sex and regularly plied with alcohol.” Bai stressed that she blames individual officers and not the Chinese government for events that have haunted her life and work.




China has inducted female soldiers in all branches of its military forces (PLA, PLAAF and PLA Navy) including the Chinese Second Artillery Force which is responsible for the missile and nuclear assets of China. China has a male military population of about 375,009,345. China has a female military population of about 354,314,328. Total military personnel: 729,323,673.













Osaka mayor Toru HashimotoPhoto left: Nationalist Toru Hashimoto (Photograph: AP)



Recently, in Japan, the mayor of Osaka, provoked anger in neighboring countries (especially China) with defence of the Second World War regime of sex slavery. Toru Hashimoto, said Japan’s ‘comfort women’ system was necessary to maintain discipline in the armed forces.

The outspoken nationalist mayor has said the Japanese military's "comfort women" regime of forced prostitution before and during the second world war was necessary to maintain discipline in the ranks and provide rest for soldiers who risked their lives in battle.

The comments raised anger and many  complained that Japan has failed to fully atone for wartime atrocities.

Toru Hashimoto, the young, brash mayor of Osaka who is also co-leader of an emerging conservative political party, said on Monday there was no clear evidence that the Japanese military coerced women to become what are euphemistically called "comfort women".

"To maintain discipline in the military it must have been necessary at that time," said Hashimoto. "For soldiers who risked their lives in circumstances where bullets are flying around like rain and wind, if you want them to get some rest a comfort women system was necessary. That's clear to anyone."

Historians say up to 200,000 women, mainly from the Korean peninsula and China, were forced to provide sex for Japanese soldiers in military brothels. By some estimates 75% died in captivity.

An unidentified South Korean government official told the Yonhap news agency it was disappointing that a senior Japanese official had "made comments supportive of crimes against humanity and revealed a serious lack of a historical understanding and respect for women's rights".

Hashimoto's comments come amid mounting criticism at the prospect of the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, and his conservative government revising Japan's past apologies for wartime atrocities. Before he took office in December, Abe had advocated revising a 1993 statement by the then PM, Yohei Kono, acknowledging and expressing remorse for the suffering caused to the sexual slaves of Japanese troops.

Abe has acknowledged that comfort women existed but has denied they were coerced into prostitution, citing a lack of official evidence.


Sexual Violence As A Weapon of War?


All too often in conflict situations, rape is referred to as a 'weapon of war', a term presented as self-explanatory through its implied storyline of gender and warring. In a provocative but much-needed book, Eriksson Baaz and Maria Stern challenge the dominant understandings of sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict settings.

Maria Eriksson Baaz and Maria Stern (School of Global Studies and the Gothenburg Centre of Globalization and Development (GCGD) at University of Gothenburg) have written the book "Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War? Perceptions, Prescriptions, Problems in the Congo and Beyond".

Link to the publisher's presentation of the book.






UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman receives award, donation for women’s economic empowerment


UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman has received the Humanitarian Award of the Kuwait-America Foundation for her work on behalf of women around the world, along with a donation of $250,000. The funds will benefit a UN Women initiative in one of Jordan’s poorest rural areas to enhance women’s economic empowerment.

UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman with husband Keith Urban, Sheikh Salem Al-Sabah, Ambassador of Kuwait to the US and Sheikha Rima Al-Sabah at the Annual Gala of the Kuwait-America Foundation on 11 March 2012. (Vicky Pombo Photography)

UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman with husband Keith Urban, Sheikh Salem Al-Sabah, Ambassador of Kuwait to the US and Sheikha Rima Al-Sabah at the Annual Gala of the Kuwait-America Foundation (Vicky Pombo Photography)

“I gratefully accept this award on behalf of a rather large group of people: the women of the world. As the Goodwill Ambassador of UN Women, I have seen that there is no limit to what women can achieve when given the opportunity,” said Nicole Kidman at the Foundation’s benefit gala dinner in Washington.

She continued: ”This is why UN Women puts strong emphasis on women’s economic security and political participation. Women need to be able to take the decisions that shape their lives and their societies. Economic autonomy means greater independence in all aspects of life: it helps women to feed their families and send their children to school so that they can get a proper education for a better future. Having an income can also provide a way out of a violent home. Working with UN Women, I have learned about the horrific scope of violence against women around the world and seen its devastating impact.”

The Kuwait-America Foundation’s contribution will support UN Women’s work in the Al-Mafraq governorate in Jordan to help women set up their own small businesses, including by being able to tap into a revolving fund, and to acquire new skills that will position them better to find jobs.

Despite major improvements in women’s access to education, social status and citizenship, women’s economic participation remains low in Jordan and has been trailing behind most countries at the same socio-economic level.

Statistics from 2009 indicate that merely 14.9 per cent of the Jordanian female populations over 15 years are economically active compared to 64.8 per cent of males.

About 20 per cent of Jordanians live in rural areas where poverty is more prevalent than in urban areas. Some of the most vulnerable groups of women, excluded from economic participation, are those living in the areas classified as “poverty pockets” by the Government.

One of the poorest governorates in Jordan is Al-Mafraq, with a total population of 281,000 and a poverty rate of 31,9 per cent .

“I know that these women will make a difference not only for themselves, but for their families and societies”, said UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman acknowledging the financial support. ”Thank you for making this possible.”




Saudi Arabia Launches First Campaign Exposing Domestic Violence Against Women



Saudi Arabia has launched its first public campaign against domestic abuse.

The ad features a woman in a black burka with only her eyes revealed — one of them bruised and bloodshot. The powerful photo includes the caption, “Some things can’t be covered — fighting women’s abuse together.”

Run by the King Khalid Foundation, the campaign focuses on raising awareness and finding more legal protection for battered women in Saudi Arabia.

The foundation also says domestic abuse in the country is much more common than reported, and many victims don't receive justice or an outlet for support.

In 2012, Human Rights Watch's World Report noted that Saudi Arabia failed to protect the rights of 9 million women and girls, adding that women in the country were banned from travelling, studying, or working without permission from male guardians. The country is also the only nation that doesn't allow women to drive.

But even with these barriers, the women of Saudi Arabia have seen slow change. In 2011, women were given the right to vote and run in municipal 2015. Just recently, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah announced women he would appoint to the nations’s consultative Shura Council, similar to parliament, according to Time Magazine.



UN report confirms nearly 200 women and girls raped by Congolese troops, rebels

Villagers fleeing their homes in Sake, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)’s North Kivu province, after fighting erupted between FARDC Government forces and rebel groups. UN Photo/Sylvain Liechti

Congolese armed forces, known by the French acronym FARDC, raped more than 102 women and 33 girls, some as young as six years old, as they fled the advance M23 rebels in country’s restive eastern region in November 2012, according to a joint UN report.

The report, which details victim and eyewitness accounts of mass rape, killings, arbitrary executions and other gross violations of human rights, was authored by the UN Joint Human Rights Office comprised of the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the DRC.

While the report also cites M23 rebels for committing atrocities, it notes that the serious rights violations committed by FARDC soldiers, in particular, were “perpetrated in a systematic manner and with extreme violence” and may constitute international crimes under human rights law, as well as crimes under Congolese criminal law.

“Those responsible for such crimes must know that they will be prosecuted,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a statement, calling the sexual violence outlined in the report “horrifying” in scale and systematic nature.

The joint investigation attributes poor discipline among soldiers and officers, as well as improper training and inadequate vetting mechanisms for what happened.

The investigation also expresses serous concern about the failure of the Congolese army to protect civilians, which it says stems from a lack of vetting procedures which allowed former rebels to integrate into the national army without verification of the human rights records.

Most of the cases documented happened on 22 and 23 November 2012 in and around the town of Minova in South Kivu and followed a similar modus operandi: “FARDC soldiers entered houses, usually in groups of three to six, and, after threatening the inhabitants, looted whatever they could find. One or two of the soldiers would leave with the looted goods and at least one would stand guard as the remaining FARDC soldiers raped women and girls in the house.”

“Victims were threatened with death if they shouted; some were raped at gunpoint. Most victims were raped by more than one soldier. Almost all cases of rape documented by the UNJHRO were accompanied by death threats and additional acts of physical violence,” the report continued.

During the period of their occupation of the towns of Goma and Sake in North Kivu, M23 combatants also perpetrated serious violations of international humanitarian law and gross human rights violations, according to the report. The UN investigation documented at least 59 cases of sexual violence, 11 arbitrary executions, recruitment of children, forced labour, cruel inhuman and degrading treatment and looting by M23 combatants.

Noting that the DRC authorities have made efforts to investigate the violations, Ms. Pillay urged DRC authorities do more to ensure justice for the victims and re-establish the confidence of the civilian population in the Congolese justice system.

Authorities suspended for further investigation the commanding officers of two of the battalions implicated in the rapes after MONUSCO sent a letter to FARDC's chief of staff requesting the formal suspension of support to these units.

Since then, the Government said it had launched investigations and recorded some 400 testimonies from victims, witnesses and suspects. It added that several arrests had been made as an interim internal disciplinary measure, and a number of officers allegedly involved in these acts had been suspended and put at the disposal of the Military Prosecutor for the purposes of the investigation.

Among these officers are the commanding officers and deputy commanding officers of the two main battalions suspected of committing these acts, as well as officers of eight other units.

The head of MONUSCO and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in the DRC, Roger Meece welcomed the measures taken by the authorities and affirmed UN’s continued support for an independent, credible judicial investigation and the Congolese armed forces.

Mr. Meece added that future efforts to reform the security sector must include a systematic verification of the human rights records of combatants and their commanders in order for the Congolese army to fully ensure the protection of civilians.

On 30 March, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, signed an agreement with Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon to prevent sexual violence.

The Joint Communiqué lists commitments made by the Government, including fighting impunity for crimes of sexual violence, accelerating security sector reform efforts, creating vetting mechanisms when integrating former combatants into the national army, ensuring a better control of mineral resources, and greater support for services to survivors.





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