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Beauty giant Avon Products has announced that its Avon Foundation for Women is donating $100,000 to Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai’s nonprofit organization, the Malala Fund – a charity that champions every girl’s right to 12 years of free, safe, quality education.
At 17, Yousafzai became the youngest person ever to win a Nobel Peace Prize. After the Taliban attempted to kill her in 2012, she co-founded the Malala Fund with her father Ziauddin, which is working towards a world where all girls can learn and lead.
The donation from Avon will be directed towards the Malala Fund’s Gulmakai Network, who are committed to creating lasting social and systemic change for the education of girls in Brazil. 1.5 million Brazilians girls are currently denied an education as a result of racism, exploitation and poverty, according to the Malala Fund.
"In Brazil, indigenous and Afro-Brazilian girls are disproportionately marginalized and struggle to complete their education. Malala Fund's Gulmakai in Brazil are fighting for their future and we are grateful to the Avon Foundation for Women for investing in their work,” said Yousafzai on the new partnership.
As the South American country is Avon’s largest market, the beauty company is invested in increasing the number of black and indigenous girls that complete secondary school in Brazil. The monetary funding will allow aid in assisting local educators and activists to train young women to stand up for their rights and reach the most marginalized girls.
Discrimination is part of a larger problem of marginalization and violence against indigenous people that has persisted in Brazil for centuries. The commitment to focus on this minority comes from their out-of-school rates in primary and lower secondary school levels in the country, according to research.
Avon’s support for the Malala Fund comes as part of its stand4her campaign. For 130 years, Avon is striving to break down the barriers holding women back from reaching their full potential. Its global programme, stand4her, aims to improve the lives of 100 million women by creating opportunities to build success in their own way and on their own terms.
The plan consists of initiatives such as the Avon Academy, a training platform to enable representatives to upskill on things like cash-flow management to their contouring techniques, and ‘Fair for Her’, establishing a set of standards to aim to improve working conditions for women in the Avon supply chain and across the industry.