Women can only be empowered if their health and safety are secure – a belief at the core of the Avon Foundation for Women. That is why our mission is to eradicate breast cancer and violence against women – two issues of great importance to women worldwide.
This year is the 20th anniversary of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade and the 10th anniversary of the U.S. Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series. Globally, Avon launched the Avon Walk Around the World for Breast Cancer series in 2005 to celebrate the Avon Foundation’s 50th anniversary. These events in more than 50 countries represent a powerful grassroots movement serving as a change agent for women’s health, and breaking down cultural, social and financial barriers.
Since the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade launched, significant progress has been made in breast cancer diagnoses, treatment and care. The rate of survivorship and survivors’ lifespans have increased, yet in the US there is still a new diagnosis of breast cancer every three minutes. Even as more diagnoses become stories of survival, these numbers motivate us to persevere.
And that is why we walk. There’s an accessibility to a walking event, engaging women, men and even children of all ages, races, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. And marching in public for women’s health and daring to wear shirts that carry both the words “breast” and “cancer” is a powerful opportunity to educate about the need for early detection and access to quality care.
Opportunities for women vary in the more than 50 countries that hold Avon Walks, including Brazil, China, Colombia, El Salvador, Germany, India, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. Walking is a meaningful way to empower women to take charge of their health and their lives, and to engage their communities and countries.
Avon global breast cancer walks have raised more than $450 million through the dedication of more than a million people around the world. In our commitment to transparency, our Avon Walk metrics, including countries, number of participants, funds raised, and grants awarded, are found on our public websites. But what these numbers don’t reveal is the cultural shift that public events can drive and the power of large numbers of passionate people advocating for progress. The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade is about to begin its third decade of mobilizing women and men to raise awareness and critically important funds, and we won’t stop walking until there is no more breast cancer.