Geneva, 5 February 2016 – Over a thousand people attended Womanity Foundation’s sixth gala evening on Thursday 4 February at Palexpo, in Geneva. The star-studded event broke the record, raising CHF 2.6 million for the Foundation, thanks to the generous support of both guests and sponsors. The celebration also marked the 10th anniversary of the Foundation, which is dedicated to empowering women and girls worldwide.

Palexpo Congress Centre was transformed for the occasion into a spectacular TV studio complete with 100 square meters of screens, which symbolised the role of media in advancing the cause of women and effecting social change. Stars of business and screen, including Chopard artistic director Caroline Scheufele, actor Vincent Perez and wife Karine Silla, fashion blogger Monica de Tomas, model Victoria Silvstedt and entrepreneur Lapo Elkann, joined the other guests in supporting Womanity Foundation.

The high points of the evening, brilliantly hosted by MCs Louise Ekland and Cécile de Ménibus, included a daring pole-dancing number choreographed by Saulo Sarmiento of the Cirque du Soleil, Julian Fontalvo’s amazing imitations of famous singers, an unforgettable entrance by Micah and the Disco Bandits, and a live-painting performance by Michaël Raivard culminating in a portrait of Darth Vader. Rapper Mokobé then ruled to the stage for part of the evening, before singers Imany and Irma enchanted the audience with their folk and blues-inflected compositions.

The auction, masterfully led by the dynamic duo of Aurel Bacs and Anne Lamunière, included many exclusive prizes, such the first Hublot Big Bang « Womanity » watches for women and men, a limited series designed especially for the Foundation. Guests generously outbid each other to win the unique objects and experiences on auction: a Fiat 500 decorated by the Brazilian studio of the Campana brothers and based on their famous « Favela » chair; a Jeep Renegade in an exclusive hound’s-tooth pattern designed by Italian entrepreneur Lapo Elkann with Italia Customs Garage; a Harley-Davidson motorcycle customised by Didier Chamizo; a bespoke tour of the legendary Romanée-Conti and Château Latour vineyards; a Kong sculpted into a Range Rover silhouette by Richard Orlinski; jewels from the Green Carpet collection by Chopard; and a personal meeting with football star Bacary Sagna during a match in Manchester, to name only a few.

All the money raised through the event will go to support programs run by Womanity Foundations and its partners in the field.

The central theme of the evening was the essential role of the media as a platform for promoting and enabling the empowerment of women and girls. To talk about this issue, the Womanity Foundation was pleased to welcome Maysoun Odeh Gangat, director of Radio Nisaa FM. Founded in 2009 with the help of Womanity Foundation, Radio Nisaa is the first commercial radio in the Middle East managed, produced and presented by women.

“I would like to thank Yann and the whole team at Womanity who work so hard with us to advance the interests of women – but also of men!” Maysoun Odeh Gangat said. “Today, thanks to my work, I am empowered to serve as a role-model for other Arab women, and I pledge to continue to do everything I can, so that women can have the courage to stand up and be heard in our societies.”

“It was a magical evening, full of shared emotions and generosity,” Yann Borgstedt, founder and president of Womanity Foundation, said. “We are proud to be starting on our second decade of taking action to empower girls and women. I would like to thank all our partners, donors, guests, performers and the entire Womanity team for their immensely valuable contribution to the success of this event and to the growth of the foundation.”

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