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NoVo in the Media

Women's eNews Announces 21 Leaders for the 21st Century 2011

NoVo Foundation’s Pamela Shifman named as Leader Helping Victims of Abuse

(WOMENSENEWS)— Women’s eNews 21 Leaders for the 21st Century 2011 are outstanding examples of the creativity, dedication and innovation of the leadership working to improve women’s lives.

The Women’s eNews board and staff thank you, our readers, for bringing to our attention 200 nominees, all of whom should indeed be honored. It was an enormously difficult task to winnow the list to the 20 women and one man who are exemplars of the creativity, dedication, resourcefulness and commitment that it takes to improve the lives of women and girls.

Join us in congratulating those who have made 2011 a better year for all of us.

Read profiles of all 2011 21 Leaders here

Pamela Shifman: Global Partner to Halt Violence

Pamela Shifman thinks locally and globally when it comes to empowering women and girls.

She is the director of Initiatives for Women and Girls at the NoVo Foundation, co-chaired by Jennifer and Peter Buffett. NoVo unlocks the potential of girls and women to be powerful agents of change. Since joining the foundation in 2008, Shifman has shaped NoVo’s work to empower adolescent girls and end violence against girls and women.

In 2008, NoVo partnered with the Nike Foundation to launch The Girl Effect. The initiative aims to change the path of girls in poverty from one involving early marriage, violence and poor health to that of opportunities for education, economic security and freedom from violence. NoVo and Nike together have invested more than $100 million for adolescent girls and have helped to mobilize action for the world’s most marginalized girls.

“If you invest in an adolescent girl and change the course of her life, she has an impact on her family, her community and the world,” Shifman says. “We call that the ‘girl effect.'”

Shifman led a team to launch a new NoVo initiative in December called Move to End Violence. It is designed to strengthen our collective capacity to end violence against girls and women in the next decade in the U.S. The effort will provide critical support to anti-violence advocates working towards social change and will harness the potential of the U.S. anti-violence movement.

“Violence against girls and women is at the root of almost every major problem we face in society,” Shifman says. “We need to transform our culture from one in which violence thrives to one in which violence is unacceptable.”

When Shifman joined the NoVo Foundation, she brought with her nearly two decades of experience working to advance the rights of girls and women. Her previous stints included being co-executive director of Equality Now, a specialist on gender-based violence for UNICEF and a legal advisor to the South African ANC Parliamentary Women’s Caucus. At the United Nations, Shifman led efforts to develop the first code of conduct to prevent sexual abuse and exploitation by U.N. peacekeepers and staff. When working with the ANC Parliamentary Women’s Caucus in South Africa, she helped develop the country’s first post-apartheid domestic violence legislation.

“The equality of girls and women is fundamental to creating the kind of world we all want to live in,” Shifman says, adding that, “a girl stifled by poverty or violence cannot reach her full potential.”