White Ribbon Campaign - Men Against Violence Towards Women10:19 AM
Many of you would have come across pink ribbon, Movember and all other quirky names for good causes in the recent years but how many of you have heard about the White Ribbon Campaign (WRC)?
What is the White Ribbon Campaign
Well, with the rise of violence against women lately, there are also increasing number of individuals who speak up against it and it's mostly coming from women themselves. Women tend to help each other more as they might have been victims themselves and are acting according to their own experience. However, a movement by women alone would not be enough to create a difference. This is where the White Ribbon Campaign comes in - the world's largest movement of MEN and BOYS working to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equity, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity.
Violence - Physical and Mental harm to women
Women often see their men as their pillar of strength, guardian and companion - be it their father, brother, lover and best friend. So when men acts violently against women, it changes the whole perception for the individual - physically and mentally. Violence is not only restricted to physical harm, but also mental abuse. Common cases of domestic/spousal abuse when a person in an intimate relationship tries to dominate the other using fear, guilt, shame and intimidation. It also includes sexual abuse - in any case where you're forced to participate in unwanted, unsafe or degrading sexual activity, even by your own partner.
If you're in an abusive relationship, please talk to people and get help. Read more about abuse and abusive relationships here.
History of the White Ribbon Campaign
In 1961, the Mirabal sister, who were political activists, were murdered under the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. Fourteen women were massacred by an anti-feminist in 1989 at Polytechnic Montreal. Michael Kaufman, and a couple of individuals wanted to remind people of the events that took place and that was how the White Ribbon Campaign started in 1991. United Nations then designation November 25th as the "International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women" in 1999 to commemorate the murder of the Mirabal sisters. Today, the White Ribbon Campaign is celebrated and spread to over 60 countries around the world and it's up to you now to educate your circle about it.
What is the purpose of the White Ribbon Campaign?
Well, generally the campaign is to generate awareness of violence against women in Malaysia. However, the campaign is to encourage MEN to break their silence and proactively get involved to help women they love and care about. These gentlemen are also to promote and end to sexism and any behaviour that degrades women - telling other men how their behaviour might contribute to the problem.
In my honest opinon, the root of this starts from home - parents should teach their sons on how to treat a lady, and fathers are the best figure to set an example. I'm lucky enough to be with a man whose father is a good example on how he treats the mother but not everyone comes from a non-abusive household. Therefore, it's up to the individuals on how they should act around women but of course, if you feel like you have been abusive, or have been abused, you need to get help and that is where AWAM (All Women's Action Society) comes in. They have a phone line for people to speak to about their problems:
Telenita Helpline (Counselling / Legal Information): 03 7877 0224
They are also actively involved in campaigns such as the White Ribbon Campaign, launched in 2003. They initiated the formation of MAN.V (Men's Action Network Against Violence) as the first men's group to work towards elimination of violence against women in Malaysia. As part of the campaign, AWAM will also be organising educational activities, such as the White Ribbon Workshop on 23 November 2013.
AWAM is also organizing a Run and Walk on December 8th 2013, where many men will come together to don the 'white ribbon' and pledge against violence towards women.
For more information, please visit the links below: