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Kiyama II: A newer more quiet raping in the Congo & the mysterious source of gold in Avon products

July 21, 2009

Eve Ensler writes in The Huffington Post:

For nearly 12 years an invisible war has ravaged this beloved, beleaguered country. Over five million dead, hundreds of thousands of women and girls raped and sexually tortured in the most unimaginable ways, 800 internally displaced since January 2009 and close to 350,000 forced to flee to neighboring countries. This violence is fueled by the world’s need for minerals most recently due to the economic crisis it is Gold. Congo, the sixth most mineral rich country in Africa, has become the stage for a regional war fueled by economic interests.

Avon Cosmetics, whose tagline is ‘the company for women’ are celebrating their Golden Anniversery in the UK with a slew of products containing gold including face creams and lipstick advertised by actress Reece Witherspoon. Witherspoon serves on the board of The Children’s Defense Fund, a child advocacy and research group.

Of course, I am not saying that Avon are using gold mined from the Congo, but neither am I saying they don’t. After emailing Avon repeatedly from 06/09/09 questioning the source of the gold in their products, I finally received the following reply on 09 July 2009:

Dear Ms ****

Thank you for your recent email

Please see the statement below –

Where gold appears in our products it is contained in ingredients that are bought by Avon from external suppliers. Because of vendor confidentiality, we are unfortunately unable to reveal the source of the gold.

Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Avon Customer Service Centre.


See also the International Women and Mining Network (RIMM) and the campaigns No Dirty Gold and Unearth Justice.

5 Comments leave one →
    • earwicga permalink
      July 21, 2009 18:14

      Indeed. Do you happen to know of any mobile phone companies who use ethically sourced materials?

  1. July 21, 2009 18:57

    No, but recycling old ones reduces demand for raw materials though.


  1. Global Witness uncovers foreign companies’ links to Congo violence « Earwicga
  2. More reasons for Avon Cosmetics ‘The company for women by women’ to reveal the source of the gold used in their products « Earwicga

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