NAIROBI, November 5, 2009 – Australian actress Nicole Kidman has cancelled her trip to Kenya after falling ill.
The cancellation came just one day before she was meant to launch a campaign to fight violence against women in Nairobi; at The Tribe Hotel to be particular.
Ms Kidman’s people issued the following statement: “Nicole is deeply sorry that, because she is ill with the seasonal flu, she cannot come to Kenya. The Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women is a top priority and together with UNIFEM she will work to advance this critical initiative.”
She went on to extend a particular thanks to the “Government authorities and local partners who have been working vigorously on the visit”.
Ms Kidman, who is a goodwill ambassador for UNIFEM, recently caused a stir in Capitol Hill during a testimony to lawmakers where she described violence against women and girls as “perhaps the most systematic, widespread human rights violation in the world”.
She took Hollywood glamour to a debate on the International Violence Against Women Act, which could influence US foreign policy in relations with countries where women’s rights are not respected.
Ms Kidman said that systematic rape in ethnic conflict, forced marriage at an early age and domestic violence required treatment “not with a box of band aids but with a comprehensive, well-funded approach that acknowledges that women’s rights are human rights.”
Kidman, who once starred in the controversial Lars von Trier film “Dogville” as an on-the-run woman who was repeatedly raped, was asked by one representative whether Hollywood could be accused of legitimizing violence against women, the actress replied: “Probably so, but it has also contributed to solutions.”
She described her work with UNIFEM as “incredibly inspiring” and vowed to continue working for “the rest of (her) life.”
So don’t rule her out, she will be back, though the UN office in Nairobi could not commit to a date.
According to the Nairobi Women’s Hospital, a person is raped every half an hour in Kenya.