Womankind and the White Ribbon Day
WOMANKIND launched the White
Ribbon Campaign in the UK in 1998.
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For three years now, WOMANKIND has organised a
campaign around White Ribbon Day, International Day Against Violence Toward
Women -- I've attached a brief information sheet about it. A number of our
Southern partners also organise around November 25 and the 16 Days of Activism.
We are trying to gather information about other campaigns and events around this
day, to build critical mass, *and* to generate media interest in the event ...
one of the first question from journalists is how it can be 'international' if
we don't have examples of a global movement.
What Is White Ribbon Day?
In 1998 WOMANKIND launched the first White Ribbon Day in the UK by to mark the International Day Against Violence Towards Women - November 25th, already well established in other countries.
The White Ribbon is the international symbol of hope for a world where women and girls can live free from the fear of violence - a vital symbol when you think that globally, violence against women causes more deaths among women aged 15 - 44 than traffic accidents, malaria, cancer or war.
Wearing the Ribbon is about challenging the acceptability of violence – by getting men involved, helping women to break the silence, and encouraging them together to build a better world for all. It’s a fresh approach, to an age-old problem.
What is the value of an International White Ribbon Day?
It is now accepted by may that domestic and sexual violence against women is a global problem, most effectively challenged by promoting changes in attitudes internationally - using local approaches, that tie in with national laws and international conventions.
The spirit behind White Ribbon Day, that of ‘international collaboration’ is testament to this, and is one that means bringing together quite different women’s and men’s groups, from distinct cultural backgrounds, who are all working on the issue of violence against women.
An international White Ribbon Day is about the immense value in learning and sharing: not only to provide mutual support but also to ensure that good practice is replicated internationally.
WOMANKIND’s Role in the UK
In the UK WOMANKIND acts as a link between various international and UK-based initiatives that tackle the problem of domestic and sexual violence. We do this through funding and offering support to women’s and men’s organisations; encouraging networking; lobbying at UN and UK levels; and promoting the idea of a White Ribbon Day through the media, and through other groups within civil society.
Our aim is to challenge the acceptability of domestic and sexual violence in society by getting people to talk, to use their voices and to break the silence.
1] Global Burden of Disease, Harvard, 1996
25th November 1960
Three sisters – Patria, Maria Teresa and Minerva Mirabel (political activists in the Dominican Republic) were assassinated in a ’car accident’. They were killed for their involvement in efforts to overthrow the fascist government of Rafael Trujillo. The Mirabel sisters quickly became symbols of dignity and inspiration. Their lives raised the spirits of all those they encountered and later, after their death, not only those in the Dominican Republic but others around the world.
The White Ribbon is a symbol of hope for a world where women
and girls can live free from the fear of violence. Wearing the ribbon is about
challenging the acceptability of violence – by getting men involved, helping
women to break the silence, and encouraging everyone to come together to build a
better world for all.