Today is International Women’s Day, and this year Canada’s theme coincides perfectly with what we have been focusing on in The Cridge Women’s and Family Services for the past year, namely:
“Working Together: Engaging Men to End Violence against Women”
In that context, we share with you the two following pieces. First, our gratitude and appreciation for the men of the First Church of the Nazarene, Victoria, for their engaged commitment to the White Ribbon Campaign. Second, an invaluable, insightful, though-provoking video by male-ally and gender activist Jackson Katz, who breaks down how we have linguistically made violence against women a ‘women’s issue’ and how to change that focus so that our conversation for solutions and change includes everyone.
Happy Women’s Day. And thank you to everyone who stands with us in saying until the world is safe from violence for all, we will not rest.
The White Ribbon Campaign is a non-profit organization that aims to equip men to voice their opposition to violence against women and girls. Each year, the White Ribbon Campaign invites men around the world to wear white ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to put a stop to domestic violence.
In November Candace Stretch asked the men’s bible study in her faith community, The First Church of the Nazarene, to take part in the White Ribbon Campaign. I was invited by the group to lead a discussion about how men can get involved in this issue. I was inspired to see how engaged the group was with the topic. At the end of our time together, each of the men in the group took a white ribbon and signed a pledge to do his part to end violence against women.
The following Sunday, led by Pastor Gary Bennett, these men wore their white ribbons to the service and invited others in the church to join them. By the end of the morning, dozens of men were walking out the church doors adorned with white ribbons. It was a true testament to the commitment shared by many men in our community who have chosen to stand up to violence against women and girls.
Thank you to the men of the First Church of the Nazarene!
Violence & Silence: Jackson Katz, Ph.D at TEDxFiDiWomen