Madrid, 24 November 2011 - Danish graphic designer Ms. Trine Sejthen was today awarded first prize in a United Nations European Ad competition on the theme Say No to Violence Against Women.
Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain presented Ms. Sejthen with the prize, 5,000 Euro donated by the Caixa Foundation.
In the winning ad Ms. Sejthen emphasizes the hidden nature of violence against women.
In her acceptance speech Ms. Sejthen said her winning ad was in fact a photograph of one of her best friends; an ordinary woman.
"Although my friend, Heidi, is a very beautiful woman, she is not your typical magazine-cover model. She is real...My point is that she could be your sister, your best friend or the woman next to you on the bus."
Over 2,700 entries from 40 European countries were submitted to the competition which was organized by UNRIC, the Brussels based UN Information Centre with the support of UN Women, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and UN information centres in the region.
Ms. Afsané Bassir-Pour, director of UNRIC told the award ceremony at the Caixa Forum in Madrid, that the organizers were surprised by how many of the works submitted showed extreme violence.
"A violence that, alas, touches too many women. The taboo of silence around Violence against Women can and must be broken."
Presenting the winner the president of a jury of experts, French advertising official, Mr. Jacques Séguela, said that his mother had told him as a young man that if he wanted to be her son, he should never hit a woman. A woman should not be hit, not even with a flower.
Several European newspapers have joined the UN as media partners and will publish the winning ad and others on 25 November, the International day for Elimination of Violence Against Women.
The aim of the competition is to increase awareness of a problem that affects one out of every three women worldwide.
Over 120,000 votes were cast and the winner was Gjoke Gojani from Kosovo.
Raphaelle Moreau of France won the youth prize for her work "Words". The youth prize winner was selected by Fabrica, the Benetton Group´s communications research centre.
The top 30 ads in the competition have or will be shown in exhibitions in Brussels, Moscow, Prague, Kiev and Copenhagen.
The Brussels based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe - UNRIC provides information on UN activities to the countries of the region. It also provides liaison with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities extend to all segments of society and joint campaigns, projects and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, schools and local authorities.
United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC Brussels)
Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 155, Block C2,7th and 8th floor, Brussels 1040, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 788 8484 / Fax: 32 2 788 8485