Sunday, 16 November 2008

16 days of activism

Amnesty International has announced that there are to be 16 days of activism to highlight violence against women. Amnesty says that about 1/3 of all women worldwide have been subject to physical abuse.

The 16 days start on November 25, which is both White Ribbon Day and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and end on 10 December, World Human Rights Day.

White Ribbon Day

White Ribbon Day was created by a handful of Canadian men in 1991 on the second anniversary of one man's massacre of fourteen women in Montreal. They began the White Ribbon Campaign to urge men to speak out against violence against women.

In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly declared November 25 the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) and the White Ribbon has become the symbol for the day.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Amnesty says:

On 25 November we remember the three Mirabel sisters,
political activists from the Dominican Republic who were assassinated on that
day in 1960.
The sisters – Patria Mercedes (36), Minerva Argentina (34) and
Antonia Maria Teresa (25) – were killed on the orders of their country’s ruler,
Rafael Trujillo, because of their opposition to his dictatorship. The women, who
had been jailed and persecuted, became known as the "Unforgettable Butterflies",
and their bravery and compassion has made them national and international


I am a director of Australia's CEO Challenge Ltd, which amongst other activities, organises White Ribbon Day activities in Queensland.

I am honoured to have been made a White Ribbon Ambassador by the White Ribbon Day Foundation:

The White Ribbon Campaign is led by men who are willing to take a stand and be
positive role models to other men in the community. A number of highly respected
men are leading the way from all walks of life are uniting to become White
Ribbon Ambassadors and to stand up and say ‘No’ to Violence Against Women.
"White Ribbon Ambassadors are critical to the success of the campaign. Our
aim is that White Ribbon Ambassadors will get all men on board with the notion
of ending Violence Against Women, whatever their sector, background, age or
belief," Andrew O’Keefe, Chairman White Ribbon Foundation and White Ribbon
Here are some examples of how Ambassadors personally get
involved with the campaign:
Wearing a White Ribbon throughout November in
the lead-up to White Ribbon Day and encouraging others to do the
Promoting public interest by talking with colleagues and friends about
the campaign i.e. about what the campaign is involved in, how important it is to
change community behaviours and attitudes, etc.
Talking about their role as
an Ambassador in as many situations as possible and in particular when attending
public engagements
Hosting meetings, social events, awareness raising
activities to mark White Ribbon Day
Approaching local councils, men’s
organizations, sports and services clubs, etc. and offering to be a guest
speaker, and encourage them to buy and distribute White Ribbons
Facilitating presentations in the work place, in recreational settings, etc.
that address the issue
Participating in media opportunities wherever
possible, e.g. direct interviews, writing articles, utilising personal media
contacts to extend the White Ribbon campaign message. The range of ways in which
a White Ribbon Ambassador can be involved, either individually or in conjunction
with others, is solely limited by our imagination.

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