UN Women Butterfly Week

Spokesperson & Co-Creator

In 2008, the National Committee of UNIFEM / UN Women in Iceland held the first Butterfly Week, to raise funds for the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women. The Butterfly Week raised 1.4 million USD; which was then the highest contribution to UNIFEM from a National Committee. Here is a Reliefweb coverage about the project.

Hrund Gunnsteinsdóttir was a board member, one of the main designers of the concept for the campaign and the spokesperson.

During the Butterfly Week, Icelanders were encouraged to have butterfly effects, referring to the chaos theory that when a butterfly flaps its wings in one part of the world, it can make a lasting impact on another. The campaign combined the arts and personal storytelling with fundraising and broad-based participation from the public and private sector, activists, artists and the media. Among event organised during the Butterfly Week was a Butterfly Walk in the centre of Reykjavik, self-organised by a group of nurses who took the cause at heart; the theatre group Vatnadansmeyjarfélagið Hrafnhildur held an auction of ‘crocheted breasts’ that had been created during a theatre performance at the Reykjavik Art Festival the year before.

Hrund Gunnsteinsdóttir wrote the Butterfly Week’s theme poem Fiðrildi (en. Butterfly), to raise awareness of the status of women and girls who suffer gender based violence. She Co-Created and wrote 4 short films for RUV, Iceland’s public TV station, with Kristin Olafsdottir at Klikk Productions.

The Butterfly Week gained international attention and has influenced fundraising by other UNIFEM/UN Women National Committees around the world.

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