Violence against women and girls is an inexcusable reality around the world nowadays, mostly perpetrated by men, deep-rooted in gender inequality and time and again shamefully disregarded even if acknowledged as a violation of human rights and form of discrimination that it is.
The work carried out by White Ribbon, which currently is the largest male managed movement in the world committed to ending violence against women and girls, engages men and boys in activities that promote gender equality and transform the social norms where the voices, ideas and work of their female counterparts are not equally valued.
The movement is currently active in more than 60 countries and supports men through collaboration and leadership to make the safety of women and girls a men’s issue too.
In 1991 a group of men in Canada created the White Ribbon Campaign with the aim of raising awareness about the frequency of male violence against women and girls.
During the White Ribbon week, which begins on 25th November and coincides with the United Nations Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, men and boys who wear white ribbons speak with a united voice to show their resistance to committing, condoning or remaining silent to violence against women and girls. The ribbon embodies hope for women everywhere who are in fear of all forms of violence.
Of course, violence against women and girls is an all-year-round issue and the White Ribbon movement works ceaselessly, encouraging men and boys to support women’s groups and raise awareness in schools, workplaces, communities, places of worship and within their own families about violence against women. They also raise money for the causes that include the White Ribbon Campaign, educational workshops in schools, outreach projects in businesses, partnerships with organized groups of civil society, political advocacy and providing technical assistance to external allies.
White Ribbon works diligently to encourage men and boys across all the social and political spectrums to challenge words and behavior that is disrespectful and abusive to women and girls, including bullying and domineering, or that fosters physical, emotional and sexual violence.
There are a remarkable range of initiatives being carried out around the world to raise awareness about violence against women, including encouraging political leaders to wear white ribbons in their parliaments while advocating for legislation that confronts gender-based violence or promoting gender equality, fundraising walks and outreach information sessions in schools, to name but a few.
The White Ribbon movement is proof that engaging men and boys in initiatives to stop violence against women and girls will ultimately enable them to become ambassadors of social change in their communities around the globe.
To learn more about the White Ribbon movement and support the fight to end all forms of violence against women visit https://www.whiteribbon.ca/