Acclaimed humanitarian, actor and writer, Ashley Judd, was appointed UNFPA’s newest Goodwill Ambassador today.

“Ashley and UNFPA will be joining forces to raise awareness of the huge work that still needs to be done across the world to stop women dying giving life and to empower women to choose when and how often to become pregnant,” said UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin. “We will also work together to protect the rights and dignity of young people, enabling them to live safe and fulfilling lives so they help build a better world.”

Ms. Judd, who is strongly committed to social justice, believes that the sexual and reproductive health of girls and women is at the heart of poverty eradication and sustainable development. She is also a passionate advocate of the right of every girl and boy to enter adulthood safely and empowered, and for ending all forms of gender-based violence everywhere.

"Having seen United Nations programmes at work around the world directly touching and helping individual lives, it's natural and rewarding to partner formally with UNFPA,” said Ms. Judd. “I'm honoured to have been asked, and joyfully accept the grave and ambitious responsibility of helping end all injustice, especially any based on being born female. Being a girl is not a crime, it is a privilege. I am excited to do what I can to help girls and women everywhere contribute to their potential - which is indeed awesome - to the progress of all humankind."



Demand Abolition

From back alleys to, suburbs to cyber sites, human beings—especially women and girls—are bought and sold for sex. No matter the medium, there’s one constant—rampant demand.

Demand Abolition is eradicating the illegal commercial sex industry in the US—and, by extension, the world—by combating the demand for purchased sex. The most efficient approach to ending sexual exploitation is targeting sex buyers: when they stop buying, the entire system of degradation collapses.

International Center for Research on Women

ICRW’s mission is to empower women, advance gender equality and fight poverty in the developing world. To accomplish this, ICRW works with partners to conduct empirical research, build capacity and advocate for evidence-based, practical ways to change policies and programs.


Shaker Village

I am very proud to serve on Shaker Village's board!

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is a landmark destination that shares 3,000 acres of discovery in the spirit of the Kentucky Shakers. With 34 original Shaker structures, the site is home to the country’s largest private collection of original 19th century buildings and is the largest National Historic Landmark in Kentucky. The nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization relies on revenue generated by visiting guests and funding from public sources, private donations and endowment income.



Appalachian Pride in the Name of Love

This talk was given by son of Appalachia, Silas House, a great friend who was recently appointed director of Appalachian Studies at Berea College. Silas, I am proud of you!

Women for Women International

This organization transforms the lives of women survivors of armed conflict. I urge you to link now to sponsor a women, and have the moving, empowering experience of connecting directly with a sister in a war torn country who is being economically, civically, politically, and culturally empowered through sponsorship and WFWI's grassroots programs. I am incredibly fortunate to know found Zainib Salbi personally, and think this organization will win a Nobel Peace Prize someday. I have visited programs in Rwanda and Congo; the difference in the spirit of a survivor reached by WFWI is dramatic. I have sponsored sisters for years now, and treasure their letters.Zainib's memoir, Between Two Worlds, is a must-read. Equally, Lisa Shannon's just published A Thousand Sisters chronicles her awakening to the crisis in eastern Congo, her passionate commitment to sponsoring women through WFWI, and the courageous trip she took to meet them in person, while organizing Run For Congo Women, You can read about my most recent visit to WFWI under the "writings" tab, in my August 2010 diaries.


Enough Project

Hope for Congo 

What is your "enough moment;" have you had enough of genocide, rape, and child soldiers? Are you prepared to accept that your electronics contribute directly to mass atrocities in eastern Congo?Click now to send letters to 20 electronics manufactures, insisting on a clean supply of the 3 T's in our electronics, as well as watching videos from Upstanders around the world who share with you what their Enough Moment was.Also, read John Prendergast and Don Cheadle's inspiring and informative book, The Enough Moment

Population Services International

How it all began for me! Approached in 2003 by the great Kate Roberts to become Global Ambassador for PSI's YouthAIDS, representing our HIV/AIDS prevention programs in 65 countries, I was soon invited to join the board of directors, on which I continue to serve. PSI is a grassroots, public health non governmental organization that uses social marketing to empower the health and lives of the world's most vulnerable and poor populations. I have visited our platforms in 13 countries thus far, and am profoundly grateful for the ongoing service opportunity and education PSI and its talented, dedicated world wide staff provide me. Our health interventions include: malaria prevention and treatment; diarrheal disease prevention and treatment; family planning; maternal health; child survival; micronutrients; HIV/STI prevention (and STI treatment); point of use water purification. Log on now to see how this extraordinary agency has added hundreds of millions of healthy days of life to those who otherwise would have either fallen sick, or died!


Women’s Media Center Speech Project: Curbing Abuse, Expanding Freedom

The WMC Speech Project is dedicated to raising public and media awareness about online harassment. The past several years have seen an increase in news, as well as a growing understanding that online harassment is a social, civil rights and workplace issue. However, many people, and institutions, think of harassment as “bullying,” instead of its much more complex and dynamic reality.

While online abuse can and does happen to anyone, the focus of this project is on the ways in which women’s rights and expression are affected by intersectional harassment related to their gender, class, race, sexuality and more.  The internet is a transformative space for girls and women, allowing us to transcend national boundaries, and obstacles to our equality. However, while we can, today, publically engage in unprecedented ways, the very qualities that make the internet a revolutionary space also enable powerful variations on old themes: violence against women and the cultural policing of girls and women, because we are girls and women.

Online harassment is a social problem that requires a social response. Our goal is to increase understanding of the nature, scope and costs of online misogyny and abuse in order to contribute to new frameworks that will ensure that free speech is a right that extends equally to all. When girls’ and women’s freedom of speech is constantly degraded and sometimes violently suppressed, when challenges to our freedom of speech are treated as trivial and inconsequential, or a problem that we are expected to solve individually, democracy and equality are are threatened.  We are committed to the creation of a robust and safe public commons that will expand freedom of expression and engagement in the public sphere instead of limiting it.

The WMC Speech Project is a project of The Women’s Media Center, and is chaired by Ashley Judd and directed by Soraya Chemaly.

Apne Aap

Apne Aap helps marginalized women and girls work collectively to lift themselves out of the sex industry as well as to advocate for policy change to stem the demand for purchased sex.

Since 2002, Apne Aap has formed 150 self-empowerment groups in brothels, red light districts, slums, and villages. Through this work, they have created and proven a community-centered solution to end sex trafficking; they have helped to transform the most marginalized girls and women into leaders who can change their own fates and those of their peers.

On the policy side, Apne Aap successfully lobbied for the United Nation’s anti-trafficking fund for survivors. Established in 2001, the fund disburses grants to organizations working at the forefront of providing services to trafficking victims. Representatives from Apne Aap have also made speeches to the South African and Icelandic parliament, urging them to change how their laws address the demand for trafficking. Today, both countries have changed their policies so that they punish buyers instead of trafficked women.

By 2016, they plan to scale their model to link 500,000 women to a nation–wide support network and to empower 100,000 girls with the access to educational opportunities.


Polaris Project

Polaris is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery. Named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., Polaris systemically disrupts the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. Our comprehensive model puts victims at the center of what we do – helping survivors restore their freedom, preventing more victims, and leveraging data and technology to pursue traffickers wherever they operate.

American Beauty

It's humbling and fun to be the face of American Beauty. Wary of such an idea when first approached, I came to appreciate the company's values, especially the many bright, hard working, empowered women serving in very high ranking executive positions within both American Beauty and Estee Lauder as a whole. Our photo shoots are always energetic, spirited affairs during which I feel absolutely gorgeous! I use American Beauty at home and on the road. The products, packaging, and ease are wonderful. There is a mixture of simplicity and elegance that appeals to me.