White Ribbon Pakistan launches Pledge Campaign to end VAW

November 30, 2011 at 6:41 pm 1 comment

The One Million Signature Campaign has recently been launched to celebrate White Ribbon Day to show solidarity with women who are victims of violence in any form and to show men’s pledge to end violence against women.

Country Director of White Ribbon Campaign Pakistan Mr. Omer Aftab explained the objective behind the White Ribbon campaign. He said that to stop violence against women, it is not sufficient that we create awareness about womens’ rights among women – it is absolutely essential that men join alongside women to encourage norms of consent, respect and gender equality and that they challenge the unfair power relations which leads to violence.

He also announced the launch of a nationwide journalists’ engagement program on gender sensitization and violence against women and said that a White Ribbon Media Alumni was being established.

White Ribbon Campaign Pakistan – WRCP is a project of the Women’s Empowerment Group and Vision 2015, working with men and boys to eradicate women’s human rights violations.

Some of the major things that have been done by WRCP include:

1.      Mass distribution of awareness material for Men & Boys on ending VAW

2.      Nationwide Media Campaign in Daily Jang, The News & GEO News to mark White Ribbon Day on 25th Nov.

3.      Nationwide Journalists Engagement Programme

4.      Mass mobilization through a Banner Campaign

5.      Youth Awareness Seminars in Universities

6.      Circulation of SMS condemning violence against women on 25th Nov to 3.0 million Warid subscribers

7.      Pledge campaign http://www.whiteribbon.org.pk/one-million/index.php

So since this is a worldwide campaign I decided to check out their main website more details so that we could all understand what it is that they are trying to accomplish. I was quite amazed at the size of the campaign and its outreach. It is an effort that started in Canada and has spread to 55 countries. Here are some of the basic questions that the website was able to answer regarding the White Ribbon Campaign, how it started, what it means to wear a white ribbon and how they are trying to ensure that their mission is accomplished.

What is the White Ribbon Campaign (WRC)?
The White Ribbon Campaign (WRC) is the largest effort in the world of men working to end violence against women (VAW). In over fifty-five countries, campaigns are led by both men and women, even though the focus is on educating men and boys. In some countries it is a general public education effort focused on ending violence against women.

How did the WRC get started?
In 1991, a handful of men in Canada decided they had a responsibility to urge men to speak out about violence against women. Wearing a white ribbon would be a symbol of men’s opposition to violence against women. With only six weeks of preparation, 100000 men across Canada wore a white ribbon, while many others were drawn into discussion and debate.

What does it mean to wear a white ribbon?
Wearing a white ribbon is a personal pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls. Wearing a white ribbon is a way of saying, “Our future has no violence against women.”

What is the goal of WRC? How is this accomplished?
The main goal of WRC is ending violence against women in all its forms. We accomplish this in five ways:

  • Challenging everyone to speak out, and think about their own beliefs, language and actions.
  • Educating young people, especially young men and boys, on the issue through the educational resources we produce.
  • Raising public awareness of the issue.
  • Working in partnership with women’s organizations, the corporate sector, the media and other partners to create a future with no violence against women.
  • Supporting White Ribbon Campaigns around with our experience, resources and networks.

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