White Ribbon South Africa is part of the White Ribbon Campaign, the world’s largest movement of men, women and boys working to end male violence and assault against women and girls, to promote gender equity, healthier relationships and an improved vision of what masculinity is. Since its inception in the 1990’s, the White Ribbon Campaign has spread to over 60 countries around the world.
Through education, awareness-raising, outreach, technical assistance, capacity building, and partnerships, supported by the Joe Slovo Foundation; White Ribbon South Africa’s programmes challenge the negative, outdated concepts of manhood and inspire South African men and boys to understand and embrace the incredible potential they have to be a part of positive change. Eliminating Gender Based Violence & Sexual Harassment from the Home, School, Workplace and Community.
Also known as WhiteRibbon.Org.za we use the definition of men’s violence against women found in the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women: that is ‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life’.
The impact of this violence on women can be physical, sexual and psychological. Violence against women can also result in death: women die from the negative health effects of violence and in South Africa often some are killed e.g. Stats SA reported that the murder rate for women increased drastically by 117% between 2015 and 2017.
Violence against women affects women’s well-being and prevents them from fully participating in society. It also impacts on families, the community and the nation.
The Economist says Gender Based Violence has reached epidemic proportions in South Africa. Some national studies show that up to 70 per cent of women have experienced physical and / or sexual violence in their lifetime including Rape. In one survey a 1/3rd of men of men admitted to having used force or threats against women – often to obtain sex.