Uniting Against Violence Toward Women

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The statistics are alarming: One in three women will be the victim of physical, psychological, or economic abuse at some point in their lives. Furthermore, children who grow up in violent situations are more likely to become violent or suffer violence as adults.

Every year, Pomellato CEO Sabina Belli asks notable individuals to reflect on this important issue. “Violence against women and girls is a violation of human rights—it is a crime,” she says. “Every day we hear about more unacceptable cases of violence, which forces us to ask why. Why is this a universal problem? Why have women always been the victims of psychological, economic, and sexual violence much more frequently than men, throughout all cultures, religions, social classes, and ages? These are urgent questions that have an impact on all of us, and we need answers in order to find and overcome the root of the problem. We all have a role to play as ‘social sentinels’ to break through the silence, respect women, and bring about a change in our society.”

sabina belli, ceo of pomellato

Courtesy of Pomellato

Sabina Belli, CEO of Pomellato

The voices in the 2024 edition of #PomellatoForWomen include those of such eminent women as award-winning actress Jane Fonda, a feminist who has supported the project since its beginnings; actress/singer Lucy Hale, who has been at the forefront of the fight against sexual violence; lawyer Lucia Annibali, recipient of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy for her work in achieving justice for women; Italian-Senegalese model Amina Seck; and French actress Andrea Bescond, as well as Kulsum Shadab Wahab, the head of a foundation in India that supports women who have suffered disfiguring acid attacks. All are united by their commitment to eliminating violence against women as a result of their own personal experiences. Men’s voices are also represented, those of actor Jesse Williams, who is also known for his humanitarian work; swimming world champion Gregorio Paltrinieri; and Fabio Roia, president of the Court of Milan, who has been involved in initiatives combating gender-based violence for decades. Together, they address this topic from a diverse range of viewpoints, offering perceptive and thought-provoking insights.

Jane Fonda

A supporter of #PomellatoForWomen since its first edition in 2017 with a cinematic career studded with awards and memorable performances, Fonda is a woman who needs no introduction. Her commitment to activism goes beyond feminist causes—issues she’s been fighting for since her youth—into human rights and protecting the environment. She has documented her battles on-screen in Jane Fonda in Five Acts, which was presented at prestigious film festivals and aired on television, as well as in her latest book, What Can I Do? Fonda celebrated her 80th birthday by raising 1 million dollars for her nonprofit campaigns in support of women’s causes.

jane fonda

Courtesy of Pomellato

Jane Fonda

Fonda believes that educating young boys and girls is paramount: We can all be social sentinels, but as mothers and fathers we have a particular duty to help our children become well-rounded individuals who are in touch with their emotions and have the ability to be kind, listen to others, and feel empathy.

Lucy Hale

This singer/actress is best known for her turn on a popular TV series based on books with the same name. Over the past few years, she has spoken out on behalf of victims of sexual abuse and wants, she says, to use her fame to make a difference. Her aim is to keep this issue in the spotlight and to encourage people to talk about it openly.

a woman with long hair

Courtesy of Pomellato

Lucy Hale

Hale draws her inspiration from the authenticity of other women, which is also what makes her optimistic in confronting gender-based violence: Openly telling our stories to help others do the same is a tool that can help us make progress and bring about change, she feels.

Jesse Williams

He won a place in our hearts wearing the coat of a doctor in a popular medical drama, but the testament to his true character is his commitment to equal rights and combating racism. He has produced two important documentaries: one dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement, the other to the African American prison population.

a man with a beard

Courtesy of Pomellato

Jesse Williams

Lucia Annibali

In 2013, Annibali was attacked by a masked man who threw acid in her face, sent by her ex-partner. As a result of this incident, she was forced to undergo more than 20 operations. The experience led her to speak out about gender-based violence, telling her story at schools, universities, and prisons, as well as in her book, I’m Here: My Story of Not-Love, which has been adapted into a TV drama.

lucia annibali

Courtesy of Pomellato

Lucia Annibali

Annibali finds strength in sisterhood, in the bond between women who share their own experiences so that they can continue to forge ahead no matter how frustrated, tired, and lonely they may feel.

Andrea Bescond

In 2015, Bescond brought her autobiographical production Les Chatouilles to the stage: a powerful dance-based representation of the abuse she experienced as a child. The piece was later made into a film that won several awards.

andrea bescond

Courtesy of Pomellato

Andrea Bescond

She feels that prevention is key, and the way to achieve it is by educating children and young people: We should make sure they feel okay even when things aren’t going well, not just when they’re achieving everything they want to—and perhaps that will help them develop a new view of the world.

Kulsum Shadab Wahab

Shadab Wahab has won awards for her humanitarian work and helps women to get their lives back after suffering acid attacks that have changed their faces forever. With the Ara Lumiere project, she has combined her passion for fashion with her dedication to such causes, offering professional opportunities that help women regain autonomy, creativity, and self-confidence.

kulsum shadab wahab

Courtesy of Pomellato

Kulsum Shadab Wahab

Women must not be left alone in the fight against violence, says Shadab Wahab—it’s important that men also talk about it, and even more important that they act and work together to achieve a society that is finally free of gender inequality.

Gregorio Paltrinieri

His swimming career has seen him achieve European and world records, and his list of prizes includes gold, silver, and bronze medals for his country. Paltrinieri is also among the very few to have won competitions in both the pool and the open water. His love of the ocean inspired him to champion environmental causes; he supports initiatives focusing on sustainability and protecting the oceans.

gregorio paltrinieri

Courtesy of Pomellato

Gregorio Paltrinieri

He asks: What does it mean to be a man in our society? Violence certainly doesn’t come into it, he says. On the contrary, it means being a social sentinel and helping people who have these kinds of problems. “We need to do more to overcome an issue that’s been going on for too long,” he adds, “and that’s going to take effort from everybody.”

Fabio Roia

Roia entered the Italian judiciary in 1986 and works to combat gender-based violence, domestic violence, and femicide, including through his academic positions at universities. He has authored a number of publications on child protection, strategies for preventing abuse and stalking, and crimes against women. The municipality of Milan has honored him for his legal, educational, and social commitment to combating violence toward women and children.

fabio roia

Courtesy of Pomellato

Fabio Roia

Roia feels there are a lot of little things we can and must do every day, starting with cutting out sexist jokes in favor of more respectful language, until we reach true equality of rights and opportunities.

Amina Seck

Born in Senegal, Seck is a model and entrepreneur who, between Dakar and Milan, has established herself as a fixture on the highest-profile runways. But as busy as her life can be, she always makes time to work for the social causes that she cares most about and for supporting people in vulnerable situations.

amina seck

Courtesy of Pomellato

Amina Seck

Seck notes that tragically, for many women, violence is part of everyday life—and not just physical violence. It can take other forms as well, such as restrictions and commands issued by people who claim to “love” and “want to protect” them. In these cases, it’s important for the people around the victims to remain vigilant and help them recognize that this is psychological violence, so that they can free themselves.

#PomellatoForWomen, from 2017 to today

Sabina Belli, CEO of the Pomellato Group, created the Pomellato for Women platform to raise awareness and bring about change, promote diversity and inclusion, and demonstrate the importance of female leadership. Through its initiatives, its collective campaigns supported by high-profile individuals since the start, and its support of organizations that work to protect the rights of women, the Milan-based brand aims to make its voice heard in order to listen and inspire, but also to make people take responsibility, and to promote and protect gender equality in every corner of the world.

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