Challenge issued to all men
White Ribbon Australia has issued a challenge to Australian men to understand and own their role in creating a future where women and children are safe from all forms of men’s violence and abuse and to commit to meaningful action.
White Ribbon Day is on November 19 and White Ribbon Australia executive director Brad Chilcott said turning this national tragedy around would require real, long-term social and cultural transformation — and men willing to ref lect on their role in achieving that change.
‘‘It’s no longer good enough just to be aware of the problem,’’ he said.
‘‘We need men to choose to be part of the solution — addressing attitudes, expectations and behaviours that uphold inequality and excuse disrespect.
‘‘We need men who have the tools they need to bring about change – first in ourselves, then in our friendship circles and communities.’’
Mr Chilcott said every person, every community, every sporting club and every government body at all levels needed to commit to being ‘‘part of that change to end all forms of men’s violence against women’’.
‘‘On average, more than one woman is killed every week in Australia as a result of intimate partner violence,’’ he said.
‘‘The COVID pandemic has made the situation worse, with lockdowns and social distancing not only creating a spike in violence, but also limiting the ability of victims to seek help.’’
White Ribbon Australia Advisory Council co-chairs, 2015 Australian of the Year Rosie Batty and former South Australian Premier and Thrive by chief executive Five Jay Weatherill, said White Ribbon Day 2021 was an opportunity to shift the narrative around gendered violence.
‘‘It’s more than just talking the talk, holding a morning tea or wearing a white ribbon. We need to change the attitudes and social norms that excuse or condone disrespect, sexual harassment and abuse,’’ Ms Batty said.
‘‘Gender inequality and learned behaviours are at the heart of this problem, so it’s essential that men are part of the solution.’’
WE NEED MEN TO CHOOSE TO BE PART OF THE SOLUTION — ADDRESSING ATTITUDES, EXPECTATIONS AND BEHAVIOURS THAT UPHOLD INEQUALITY AND EXCUSE DISRESPECT. — BRAD CHILCOTT