White Ribbon 2020 at BWP
Never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence towards women.
November 25th is the International Day for the elimination of violence against women, also known as White Ribbon Day. Men throughout the world are encouraged to recognise the necessity for them to stand up and take responsibility in working towards a future without violence against women and girls.
Making the promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women is a first step to challenge world-wide misogyny. White Ribbon is now active in over 60 countries and the movement seeks to promote healthy relationships, gender equality and a compassionate vision of masculinity. The white ribbons are symbolic of men giving up their arms.
“It’s men’s responsibility to stop gender violence, if we want to see change, we need to mobilise large numbers. We need to reach music venues, sports clubs, universities. Celebrities speaking out is great, but we want police officers, bus drivers, the whole community to embrace our values. It’s baby steps.” – Chris Green
Although initiated by men, White Ribbon and all it stands for has been embraced by many groups within the community including colleges, businesses and women’s groups. It’s a time when communities can get together and embrace a common goal of doing everything possible to eliminate misogynistic hate towards women.
Violence towards women doesn’t happen in a social vacuum, the tensions it creates are commonly played out in front of friends, neighbours, colleagues, family and professionals. So, we all have a role to play. We all have the potential to see, hear, ask, listen, question, support, report, challenge, defend.
Femicide is just part of the picture because for every woman killed, thousands more will be living in fear. Domestic abuse and violence towards women are so common that we will all be having regular contact with both perpetrators and survivors. Violence towards women will thrive if we as a culture allow it to. But if we all take responsibility and refuse to turn a blind eye, are prepared to notice, question and act, real progress can be made.
“The history of men’s opposition to women’s emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself” ― Virginia Woolf
It’s disputable that it’s men’s responsibility to stop gender violence, surely, it’s everyone’s responsibility, including the mother who raises her sons to be respectful towards women, and the female employee who refuses to remain silent about unequal pay.
We all need to try harder to do our bit to change the culture in which men dominate and abuse women. If we never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence towards women, together we can help stamp out misogyny.
“There’s a secret war on women going on in the world. Secret even to us. Secret even though we know it.” – Tommy Orange
Awareness raising during White Ribbon can make a huge difference by positively confronting abusive, sexist, derogatory and gender stereotyping behaviours. In doing this, we can collectively support a culture which will not allow violence against women to perpetuate.
We can encourage the development of communities that are kinder, more informed, and actively resistant to misogynistic and abusive behaviour. Acting with kindness and altruism and being prepared to challenge those who degrade women not only benefits society, it also has benefits for the individual who refuses to remain silent.
“Some gender norms are healthy, some are unhealthy – you must wake up from the patriarchal sleep to recognize which is which.” ― Abhijit Naskar,
If you are experiencing domestic abuse or are affected by past domestic abuse, we are here to help you. You can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call our support line on 01773 719111.