The White Ribbon Campaign is the largest effort, in the world, of men working to end men's violence against women.  In 1991, a handful of men in Canada decided they had a responsibility to urge men to speak out against violence against women. They decided that wearing a white ribbon would be a symbol of men's opposition to men's violence against women. After only six weeks preparation, as many as one hundred thousand men across Canada wore a white ribbon. Many others were drawn into discussion and debate on the issue of men's violence. 

It was the first organisation of men, in the world, to address male violence against women.  In time the WRC began working together with women, for women had been at the forefront of encouraging men to acknowledge that domestic violence is a serious public health problem; one that will not go away until men confront it, accept its seriousness and legitimacy and resolve to help change society.

The WRC draws on men from across the social and political spectrum. The WRC is a place where men from all political stripes work together, where trade unionists and businessmen, farmers and city dwellers have a common agenda and respect differences.  It is a campaign of men, aimed at men. Wearing a ribbon is a statement of men's opposition to violence against women. In some communities, women’s organisations have played a key role in getting a white ribbon effort off the ground because they believe men must tackle violence at its roots. The women participating in the White Ribbon Campaign pledge to support and encourage men to speak out on ending violence against women.

The men participating in the White Ribbon Campaign have taken as their only common goal the following three personal pledges:

  • never to commit violence against women,
  • never to condone violence against women, and
  • never to remain silent about violence against women. 
The White Ribbon Campaign is now an international campaign for men who want to stop men's violence against women. The European Parliamentary Committee on Women’s Rights and Equal Opportunities launched the White Ribbon Campaign in the European Parliament in 1999 – and virtually all male MEPs wore a white ribbon during the parliamentary session in November of that year. The European Parliament has recommended that the WRC be formed in all European countries.

No activities are held on Dec. 6th since that is the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre of so many young women. White Ribbon activities happen at many times during the year. But White Ribbon Week--the last week in November--is the main focus in most communities. White ribbons are distributed as a vehicle to get people talking and to create awareness.

WomenAid International salutes the White Ribbon Campaign founder, Michael Kaufman, and his colleagues for creating such a positive initiative to reduce the epidemic of violence against women.  By introducing the White Ribbon Campaign to the Caucasus, WomenAid aims to support and encourage men and women in all regions of the Caucasus to work together to end violence against women in all its forms.


WomenAid International - Caucasus
17 Khvichia Street 380060 Tbilisi, Georgia
Tel/Fax:  (995 32) 37 92 70 
Email: waigeo@access.sanet.ge  or  whiteribbon@womenaid.org

Founder White Ribbon Campaign ~ What  Every  Man  Can  Do

Caucasus 16 Days Index ~ CaucasusNOW

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