Pakistani Story of Survival of Violence against Women Wins Top Television Programming Award

Note No. 6259
3 May 2010

Pakistani Story of Survival of Violence against Women Wins Top Television Programming Award

3 May 2010
Press Release
Note No. 6259
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Note to Correspondents

Pakistani Story of Survival of Violence against Women


Wins Top Television Programming Award


New York Festivals, United Nations Public Information

Department to Present Awards for Television Programming and Film Today

International television programming and films focusing on issues of importance to the United Nations will be honoured on today at the New York Festivals Television and Film Awards Gala at the American Airlines Theater in New York City.

Awards will be presented to broadcasting companies from Canada, the United States and Singapore.  Juan Carlos Brandt, Chief of Advocacy and Special Events, United Nations Department of Public Information, said:  “I’m heartened to see the portrayal of issues of priority to the Organization, such as ending violence against women and the empowerment of women, as well as child soldiers, refugees and the environment, being honoured at this year’s New York Festival Television and Film Awards.  Through its Creative Community Outreach Initiative, the United Nations hopes to assist all storytellers in exposing more such stories from the many voices that otherwise may remain unheard.”

The Gold Award will be presented to CTV News of Canada for its South Asian Bureau production, “Pakistan Beauty Salon”.  Every year, approximately 150 Pakistani women report being attacked with acid or burned with kerosene.  The numbers of actual attacks, thought to be even higher, are unknown due to the stigma associated with them.  The CTV news segment reports on an entrepreneur who is raising money for reconstructive surgeries by hiring burn victims to work at the Depilex Beauty Salon.  The salon hired the first victim six years ago and today employs over 400 women.  With the help of their communities, these women strive to overcome the crippling attacks in their past by becoming independent.

The Silver Award goes to Wolf Films, in association with Universal Media Studio, of the United States, for the episode “Hell” in the series Law and Order:  Special Victims Unit.  In the episode, a team of investigators seeks assistance from United Nations experts to gather data on child soldiers and refugees in order to solve a crime.  Through this New York television staple, the United Nations Headquarters makes its primetime debut, portraying some of the Organization’s priority issues while reaching out to the show’s broad audience.

The Bronze Award is shared by recipients from Singapore and the United States.  Caldecott Productions International of Singapore is a co-winner for its documentary, Mother Earth Speaks, which profiles five children describing in their own words the neglect and abuse inflicted on our planet.  As we witness the candid opinion of the children on diverse environmental issues, intertwined with exceptional imagery of Mother Earth, we are presented with the view of the generation that will be most affected by environmental degradation.

The second recipient of the Bronze Award is HBO for Botswana:  The Gem of Africa, a short film promoting their critically acclaimed series The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.  The promo portrays the positive aspects of Botswana’s history and culture, including the country’s role in the production of non-conflict diamonds and the importance of that industry in its national development, as well as several aspects of empowerment of women as seen from a female point of view.

Jointly sponsored by United Nations Department of Public Information and New York Festivals, the awards were established in 1990 to honour television programming that reflects and exemplifies the values, aims and ideals of the United Nations.

The New York Festivals, founded in 1957, oversees six international awards competitions, in film and video, television programming and promotions, radio programming and promotions, television and radio advertising, design and print advertising and interactive media.

For more information, please contact Joanna Piucci, tel.:  212 963 7346, e-mail:, or Daniela Sinobad, tel.:  212 963 3873, e-mail:

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.