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AI activists get busy for 'White Ribbon Day'

24th November 2006

Amnesty's Priority Global Campaign

'Stop Violence Against Women'

AI activists get busy for 'White Ribbon Day'

Amnesty International has renewed its commitment to its priority global campaign to Stop Violence Against Women. The campaign, involving the worldwide movement of 1.8 million people, is a response to the massive scale of violence against women globally. Amnesty International's campaign is helping to ensure that women's rights are placed firmly on the human rights agenda.

Amnesty International's human rights campaigners throughout the country are working alongside organisations like the Families Commission, the YWCA, and Women's Refuge on White Ribbon Day (25th Nov) and throughout the 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence Against Women (25 Nov-10 Dec).

AINZ Executive Director Ced Simpson says "Violence against women is the most pervasive human rights abuse in the world today. Unfortunately, it is an abuse firmly entrenched in New Zealand."

"New Zealanders cannot claim to be making real progress towards human rights for all if we do not address the issue of violence against women in our homes."

Amnesty International activists are organising and participating in 30 events throughout New Zealand, including the following: Stalls to distribute 30,000 white ribbons; Peace March; Garage Sale; Write-a-thon; Peace Mile walk; library displays; Freedom Walk; Motorcycle Rally; Reclaim the Night march; and a 'Turn Back the Tide of Violence' Beach Gathering.

Amnesty International is urging all New Zealanders to make an active contribution to eliminating violence against women over the 16 Days of Activism.

"Wearing a white ribbon on your chest on 25 November is a good start it shows that you don't think violence against women is an inevitable or acceptable part of New Zealand society" said Ced Simpson.

16 Days of Activism:
o The 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence Against Women is an international campaign period that began back in 1991.
o The campaign was originally founded by several Canadian men's organisations to commemorate the 'Montreal Massacre'; a shooting at the Montreal based Ēcole Polytechnique that left 14 women dead.
o Since 1991 approximately 1,700 organizations in 130 countries have participated in the 16 Days campaign.
o Participants chose the 16 days between November 25 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) and December 10 (International Human Rights Day) in order to symbolically link violence against women as a human rights violation.
o The overarching symbol of the international campaign to eliminate violence against women is a white ribbon.

New Zealand Coalition Members:
New Zealand Police, UNICEF, YWCA, UNIFEM, Families Commission, Jigsaw, Amnesty International, Women's Refuge, Save the Children, Relationship Services, Human Rights Commission, Ministry of Women's Affairs, Ministry of Social Development, National Network of Stopping Violence Services (NNSVS), Auckland Regional Public Health Service, Wellington Help Foundation.

Resources Available
Amnesty International, NZ has launched a new website for this campaign, detailing relevant statistics and information: www.standbyme.org.nz


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