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White Ribbon 2021 and 16 days of activism against gender based violence

November 26, 2021 at 4:28 PM

From the NZFVC 

The 25th of November is White Ribbon Day and the United Nations International Day to End Violence Against Women, which starts the 16 days of activism. 

The White Ribbon NZ campaign this year is Whiti te rama - Shine a light on what works in violence prevention in our communities. The campaign is focused on highlighting stories of change to inspire people who are currently experiencing violence. White Ribbon is asking people who have used violence and people who have experienced violence to share their stories of coping, getting support, and the tools that helped with change. 

White Ribbon NZ has also launched a new video and new toolbox on call-in culture. The campaign notes that: 

“Effective prevention moves beyond simply stopping violence into promoting alternative healthy behaviours. We must encourage boys and men to recruit and educate other boys and men in ways that lift each other up. An effective way to do this is by ‘inviting’ men, rather than indicting them. This means not only modelling positive behaviour in front of each other, but also understanding that other men might be at a different part of their journey and still working it out for themselves.” 

“Once upon a time if you were coaching a team you would have highlighted mistakes and used shame to call out unwanted behaviours. While we still have to correct errors, there is now much more of a focus on finding those moments where the players are doing something well, and using these as key learning moments. With a focus upon growing from our strengths and our successes, we are more likely to engage those around us. 

I know that being empathetic, and understanding the drivers behind someone’s behaviour, and speaking to those issues, is far more effective than just simply calling someone out. If you want people to change, you’ve got to give them a reason to change, and that requires being empathetic and kind,” 

The campaign also seeks to shine a light on pre-colonial attitudes to women and children and the ways in which colonisation has led to limited understandings of possible masculinities. The campaign notes that: 

“Historical records suggest that the possibilities for Māori tāne were much broader before the importation of European models of masculinity. These records suggest Māori men were looked down upon by Pākehā for lacking appropriately stoic ‘masculine’ behaviours, and were instead talkative and animated, partook in the same work as women, and readily expressed their emotions. The fact that colonisation has led to limited understandings of possible masculinities, and has justified and excused abuse at the hands of men suggests that unpacking assumptions about colonial masculinity can help Aotearoa reset our attitudes and behaviours by building on traditional Māori values.” 

White Ribbon has also teamed up this year with Hohou te Rongo Kahukura – Outing Violence and Rainbow Hub Waikato to develop a new Toolbox for parents with kids who break gender rules. The Toolbox – Kids and Gender – will be launched at a webinar on 29 November. Also see our calendar for educational webinars and events happening around the country. 

Category: White Ribbon Day