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Wear a white ribbon and say no to violence

22 November 2004

Human Rights Commission

Wear a white ribbon and say no to violence against women

The Human Rights Commission is encouraging people to support White Ribbon Day: the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) on November 25.

In 1991 a group of Canadian men began a campaign urging men to speak out against violence against women. Wearing the white ribbon was adopted as a symbol of men’s opposition to violence by men against women. The first effort achieved the distribution of 100,000 white ribbons across Canada .

White Ribbon Day continues to address the unacceptable level of violence that affects women and children, including physical, psychological, emotional and sexual violence, trafficking, harmful traditional practices, abuse in conflict situations and intimate partner violence.

Wearing a white ribbon is a personal pledge to not commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and children.

The impact of violence is felt by all sectors of the community and while focussing on women, White Ribbon Day is also a reminder that men too are the victims of violence.

The Human Rights Commission is including suggested actions relating to safety and security within the New Zealand Action Plan for Human Rights which is currently being developed.

White Ribbon Day is organised in New Zealand by UNIFEM New Zealand, the United Nations Development Fund for Women. UNIFEM NZ’s theme for IDEVAW 2004 is “Not a Minute More”.

Commissioner Joy Liddicoat said UNIFEM New Zealand is doing an excellent job promoting the day, which is being marked around the world.

“Today men and women are working together to combat violence, with collaborations such as those between Women’s Refuge and the National Network of Stopping Violence Services providing excellent examples. This week is a chance to acknowledge the good work of those people and to renew efforts to combat violence in all its forms.”

You can show your support for the day by wearing a white ribbon, by ordering white ribbons for distribution or by organising an event within your community or workplace. You can also make a donation to help UNIFEM with the cost of the campaign. Contact UNIFEM on: unifem@nznet.gen.nz or phone/fax: (09) 418 0700 or IDEVAW, C/- P.O. Box 730 , Palmerston North.


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