Say NO – Use Your Voice To End Violence Against Women

Certain campaigns that aim to change the world for the better can often sound like one of those ‘Big Asks’ that business people like to talk so much about; A task that seems so mammoth that, depressingly, the outcome feels unreachable. But mammoth tasks somehow seem all the more maneagable when everyone gets involved – which is why Say No-Unite need you to get on board and say no to violence against women!

This global campaign, launched in November 2009, aims to make violence against women a top priority worldwide through social action and engagement;

Actions can range from reaching out to students at schools, to volunteering at local shelters, advocating for legislation or donating funds towards programmes that protect women and girls from violence. Every action will be counted to showcase the global groundswell of engagement that exists on the issue.

And here’s one particular action it’s easy to get involved in – Signing the Say No-Unite petition. Adding your name to the petition will send a message to the government asking that they support these three steps to implement UN Security Council resolution 1325;

Prosecute those who command and/or commit sexual violence and exclude them from armies and police forces after conflict.

Ensure that women participate in peace negotiations and all post-conflict decision-making institutions.

Increase the number of women in troops, police forces and civilians within international peacekeeping efforts.

There’s now less than one week left to add your name to the petition, so get a move on! Read more here, follow the campaign on twitter, learn more from the video below… and help the world to ‘realise a vision that is ambitious, but must never be impossible.’

By: Sarah Barnes, 16.10.2010 | Comments (0)
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Remembering victims of violence by candle-light

National Gallery Gathering

Last night I went along to Trafalgar Square to join many other women (representing Million Women Rise, Women in Black, London Feminist Network, Object, the Women and Girls’ Network, Roshni and, of course, all representing themselves) gathered in remembrance of all women who have suffered male violence. We were there to mark the United Nations Elimination of Violence Against Women Day, share our stories and hope for a future free from violence.

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By: Sarah Barnes, 26.11.2009 | Comments (0)
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Men! Wear a White Ribbon today!

White Ribbon Campaign

As well as being the United Nations Elimination of Violence Against Women Day, today is also White Ribbon Day – a day set up by the White Ribbon Campaign. Each year the campaign urges men and boys to wear a white ribbon for one week, starting today, to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women. Wearing a white ribbon acts as a personal pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.

The campaign is an interesting and much needed one because it takes the onus of responsibility surrounding male violence against women away from women and sees men as part of the solution. Here is some information from the campaign’s educational material;

Why violence against women is also a men’s issue:

  • *Men are the main perpetrators of violence
  • *The lives of partners, friends, sisters and daughters of men are damaged by violence and abuse
  • *Men can speak out and intervene when male friends and relatives insult or attack women
  • *Men can help create a culture where the behaviour of a minority, who treat women and girls with contempt or violence, becomes unacceptable
  • *Men can examine their own behaviour and consider changes which will create a world based upon gender equality

    10 things men can do to help prevent male violence against women:

    1. 1. Realise that gender violence is a men’s issue that affects women we care about
    2. 2. Never remain silent – confront abusive behaviour of other men
    3. 3. Understand how our own attitudes and actions may perpetuate sexism and violence – work towards changing them
    4. 4. Offer help and support if we suspect a woman is being threatened
    5. 5. Respect women and treat them as equals
    6. 6. Ally with women who are working to end all forms of gender violence
    7. 7. Speak out against homophobia
    8. 8. Educate ourselves about masculinity, gender inequality and the root causes of gender violence
    9. 9. Mentor young men about ways to be men that do not involve degrading or abusing women
    10. 10. Refuse to purchase any magazines, videos or music that portrays women in a degrading or violent manner

    Find out more on the White Ribbon Campaign website

    By: Sarah Barnes, 25.11.2009 | Comments (0)
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    Elimination of Violence Against Women Day – candle lit vigil tonight

    Candle Lit

    Today, the 25th November, is the United Nations Elimination of Violence Against Women Day and, to mark the day, there will be candle lit vigils held in both London and Edinburgh.

    For all women worldwide who have been murdered and affected by male perpetrated violence (and in protest of the recent sexual attack on blogger Noble Savage at the Reclaim The Night march in London), Million Women Rise will hold a peaceful candle lit vigil tonight in Trafalgar Square at 7pm.

    Million Women Rise, along with other women’s organisations, like Object, the Women and Girls’ Network and Roshni, are inviting self-identified women and male allies to come along and bring a candle to light in remembrance of all women who have suffered male violence.

    The Edinburgh University Feminist group will gather in Bristo Square at 6pm, along with political choir Protest in Harmony, to launch their 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Violence campaign. All victims of homophobic and transphobic violence will be in the thoughts of those attending. As the Edinburgh Uni Feminists say;

    “Join us to make a strong public statement, to visually highlight crimes which are too often hidden from public view.”

    By: Sarah Barnes, 25.11.2009 | Comments (0)
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