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24 November 2011

Say No to Violence against Women Ad Competition:
Danish designer wins First Prize

VIENNA, 24 November (UN Information Service) - The winning designer from Denmark will be awarded her prize at a special ceremony in Madrid today in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain for her entry in the UN European Ad Competition, No to Violence Against Women. The Europe-wide competition is part of the United Nations Secretary-General's Campaign UNiTE to end Violence against Women.

Violence is not always visible by Danish designer Trine Sejthen won the first prize, 5,000 Euro, selected by a jury of specialists. Treat me like a woman by artist Gjoke Gojani from Kosovo won the public vote prize. Words by Raphaelle Moreau of France won the youth prize for participants under 25. There were 30 finalists including Marián Preis of Slovakia. The winning adverts can be seen at

The advertising competition was organized by the United Nations Regional Information Centre in Brussels (UNRIC) in partnership with the United Nations Information Centres in Europe and UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment.

Over 2,700 entries from 40 European countries and areas were submitted to the competition which aimed to increase awareness of the problem of violence against women which affects one out of every three women worldwide. The winning ad will be published in several European newspapers at the conclusion of the competition on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

In his message for the day the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon says that violence against women and girls takes many forms and is widespread throughout the globe: "Whether in developing or developed countries, the pervasiveness of this violence should shock us all. Violence - and in many cases the mere threat of it - is one of the most significant barriers to women's full equality."

Trine Sejthen from Copenhagen, the winner of the first prize, said she was surprised but very proud when she heard the news: "I was very surprised. There are so many great entries and because this is the UN, a very important organization, this means a lot to me."

"I want people to think that this woman could be anybody, you can't tell if she's wealthy or poor, she could be your sister, friend or somebody next to you on the bus," Ms. Sejthen said.

Over 120,000 votes were cast in the Public Vote Prize and the winner was Gjoke Gojani from Kosovo. "I entered the competition because I was interested in the artistic side of designing a newspaper ad, but then I realized that the subject had touched my soul," Mr. Gojani said.

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 winning entry was selected by a jury composed of experts including Jacques Séguéla vice president of advertising giant Havas, Omar Vulpinari Creative Director of the Visual Communication Department at Fabrica, Benetton's communication research centre, and Mieke Gerritzen, Designer and Director of the Graphic Design Museum in Breda.

"Joining in the efforts to stop violence is everybody's responsibility. Governments, private enterprises, civil society groups, communities and individual citizens can all make essential contributions. Men and boys must be active in encouraging respect for women and zero tolerance for violence," says Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women.

"We live in a world of violence. Violence against women is all the more intolerable because of the contradiction between love and brutality, the rejection of equality. There will never be enough of us to mobilize against this scourge that neither time nor modernity has managed to defeat," says Jacques Séguéla Vice President of advertising giant Havas.

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For further information contact:

At UNIS Vienna:

Anne Thomas
Information Officer, UNIS Vienna
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-5588
Mobile: (+43) 699-1459-5588
Email: anne.thomas[at]

At UNRIC Brussels:

Arni Snaevarr
United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC)
Telephone: (+32-2) 788-8467
Email: snaevarr[at]