White Ribbon is a global campaign led by men to end violence against women. White Ribbon Day, 25 November, is the international day when people wear a white ribbon to show that they do not condone violence towards women. White Ribbon celebrates the many men and women willing to show leadership and commitment to promoting safe, healthy relationships, and respectful attitudes and behaviours towards women.
VIOLENCE TOWARDS WOMEN IS UNACCEPTABLE
- One in three women will experience partner violence at some point in their lives.
- Over 3,500 convictions are recorded against men each year for assaults on women.
- It is estimated that only 20 percent of abuse cases are reported.
- This is totally unacceptable. White Ribbon has been created to help address this.
MEN ARE PART OF THE SOLUTION
- This campaign is led by men primarily for men.
- We need to recognise there is a serious problem, accept that abuse against women is widespread, step up and take action.
- This is about standing up for our female friends, our sisters, our mothers, our daughters. This isn’t their problem, it’s our problem to fix.
YOU CAN HELP FIX THIS PROBLEM
- Take The White Ribbon Pledge.
- Check that your actions and those of your mates are OK – be man enough to make a call on inappropriate behaviour.
- Make sure the women you know are OK – if not, start a conversation with them, with their partners, or with someone who can help.
- Wear a white ribbon every day, join a White Ribbon project or activity – show your support.
- If you're a business or organisation take action with Business Accreditation
- Take part in the Youth Ambassador Leadership Project (YALP)
- Take part in the White Ribbon Ride
- View the eight actions that help to reduce violence
- Download our Toolboxes
If we want change, we must encourage boys and men to recruit and educate other boys and men in ways that lift each other up. An effective way to do this is by ‘inviting’ men, rather than indicting them. This means not only modelling positive behaviour in front of each other, but also understanding that other men might be at a different part of their journey and still working it out for themselves. Find out more here.
This year our focus is supporting boys to become awesome men, so we're taking back the phrase 'boys will be boys'.
Boys will be boys is usually a negative, so this year we plan to flip it on its head. It’s time to change the narrative and demonstrate what boys will be boys should mean. There are awesome things about being a boy that we need to celebrate.
- Boys have heart – encourage them to show it, not just in being tough or brave or strong but in showing that they care.
- Boys can and should cry – it’s part of being human and it serves a purpose, expressing your feelings allows you to work through them – bottling up emotions isn’t healthy.
- Boys can play sport, be part of a team, like fast cars and still stand up and speak out when they hear others being abusive.
- Boys are loyal friends and can call others in – have a quiet chat with a mate if he says something abusive or offensive about girls or women, don’t just let it go. Share your feelings, ask why they feel that way – you can help. Be the change you want to see in the world. Every person can make a difference.
It takes strength and bravery to stand up and speak out in a world that too often wants to limit you to stereotypical gender roles. We need to celebrate the good we see in our young men and change the script. Men can be part of the solution. Talk to your son or the boys in the team you coach or at your school about being a good human and what that looks like in your daily life. Be an ally and help them make good choices. So many of the hyper masculine stereotypes hurt men as well as women. If we look at violence, not just against women, but also between men, incarceration rates, mental health struggles and suicide statistics it is obvious these perceived rules of masculinity are broken. We need to give our sons and all the boys in our lives the tools for a healthy violence free life. Everyone feels angry, there is no shame in that – we just need to work on how we express these emotions in a way that helps not hurts us. Both men and women benefit from equality.
This campaign flows from the work we have undertaken previously to challenge the #Outdated stereotypes of being a man.
White Ribbon focused on the #outdated - stereotypes that boys and men are handed down from their role models. The things we teach our kids about “how to be a man” might seem harmless, but actually carry messages that can create a really negative impact.
When we say things like “Show them who’s boss”, “Kids should keep quiet” or “Treat em mean, keep em keen” we’re putting limits on how kids interact with their world and how they develop their relationships. Many men have grown up hearing these things and end up copying these unhealthy attitudes and behaviours - even if they don’t like or agree with them. At their worst, these attitudes and behaviours can lead to violence toward women. This violence affects our families, our communities, and our whole country.
So how do we change it? In all of our relationships - whānau, friends, colleagues, teammates - we can challenge the #outdated stereotypes of what it means to be a man. We can role model healthy relationships and focus on strength that comes from a kaupapa of respect and aroha. We can call each other out and encourage more kōrero about gender equality.
By challenging each other in constructive ways we become stronger, and support change for those who need it the most. It’s time to shake off the old and reveal the new.
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If you plan to hold a White Ribbon event or activity – please tell us about it at email@example.com
If you want to know more about the campaign - head to our website - www.whiteribbon.org.nz.
Thanks for your support
The White Ribbon Team