White Ribbon campaign and 16 days of activism against against gender-based violence 2018

Image: White Ribbon logo

The White Ribbon campaign this year has focused on asking men to stand up and take the pledge to stop men's violence against women.

The campaign is specifically encouraging men to pledge to take one of eight actions including:

"1. Listening and believing women
2. Reflecting on and changing their behaviour
3. Disrupting other men’s violence towards women
4. Treating women as equals
5. Choose how to be a man and how I will act
6. Talk to a young man about breaking out of the Man Box
7. Think about what they watch and the media they use
8. Talk with young men about respectful relationships and pornography"

The Campaign has produced a brief video calling on men to stand up, available in nine languages. They have also produced a series of five minute videos featuring White Ribbon Ambassadors talking about the eight actions to stop men's violence against women.

White Ribbon’s Manager, Rob McCann, said:

“Too often people think violence is just someone losing their temper, but research clearly demonstrates that violence is more about controlling behaviour and men’s socialisation. We know that promoting and understanding respectful relationships is a protection against violence.

“As men we can make a real difference if we stand up for our values. How many of us ignore the guy telling sexist jokes in the pub or look the other way when a friend is making derogatory comments? Too many! How many dads sit down with their sons and talk about what a respectful sexual relationship looks like?

“The answer is not enough. That is why we are asking men to stand up and get involved. We’re challenging men to take The Pledge, To stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence towards women, and when they do, chose from one of eight options that help men take real action. Actions that women around the world have been asking for”.

Earlier in 2018, the White Ribbon Trust commissioned a report to explore how the Aotearoa NZ White Ribbon Campaign could align with the #MeToo movement. The report also looks at how men can engage and support the #MeToo movement.

More information and resources are available on the White Ribbon website, including the online pledge and events around the country.

16 days of activism against gender-based violence 

The international 16 days of activism against gender-based violence runs from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) until 10 December (Human Rights Day) each year. The UNiTE Campaign’s global advocacy theme this year is: Orange the World: #HearMeToo.

UN Women have released a video on Facebook highlighting the importance of providing support to women experiencing violence: "Your words can be refuge to someone who doesn’t feel safe. What you say matters to end violence against women."

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has published a new report on femicide. This is the first part of the Global Study on Homicide which is due to be launched in early 2019. Data from the report, Global Study on Homicide 2018: Gender-related killing of women and girls, shows that 80% of victims of all intentional killings involving intimate partners are women. For more information see the UN Office of Drugs and Crime press release and a joint statement from UN agencies calling on States to stop femicide and gender-based violence.

Related resources 

As part of last year's campaign, White Ribbon developed a 35-minute film called Raise Our Men (2017). The film features interviews with New Zealand men talking about being socialised as boys and their experiences as men. It is available as a resource for anyone working with men (including young men). It explores gender roles, emotional expression, masculine identity, peer groups, abuse, relationships, respect, consent and more. It is freely available online.

Manhood 2.0: A Curriculum Promoting a Gender-Equitable Future of Manhood (2018) was developed by Promundo and the University of Pittsburgh. The curriculum is designed to engage young men aged 15 to 24 in reflecting on the impacts of harmful gender norms including teen pregnancy prevention, dating violence and sexual assault, and the bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals. 

The Australia-based Partners in Prevention network has produced the Unpacking Resistance video series which explores how prevention workers experience resistance to violence prevention. Also based in Australia, VicHealth has published a guide for prevention workers on (En)countering resistance: Strategies to respond to resistance to gender equality initiatives (2018). The guide covers strategies and tools to prepare for and respond to backlash and resistance to gender equality initiatives.

Selected media

United Nations finds the deadliest place for women is at home, Stuff, 27.11.2018

White Ribbon campaign an essential part of ending family violence and sexual violence, Beehive Press Release, 12.11.2018