White Ribbon in Northern Ireland began as a campaign within Women’s Aid ABCLN. A lot of progress was made , encouraging groups and Individuals to take action by signing the White Ribbon Charter, wearing the White Ribbon pin and making their personal pledge never to commit condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls.
Over the years this empowered business leaders, employers and workforces, schools and churches to take a stand.
Over 40 organisations have signed the charter to date. Signatories have included political leaders such as the Health Minister Robin Swann, Justice Minister Naomi Long, Department of Justice, Church leaders including the Methodist Church in Ireland and the bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor, local councils and schools.
This encouraged important conversations around violence against women in rooms where the conversation hasn’t been had before for example with sports clubs and sport’s governing bodies such as the IFA and Ulster GAA. The realisation was made that these places are often the heart of the community and this support could be harnessed to inspire change.
The time had come to take the campaign to a new level. White Ribbon NI was launched in November 2021 .The original goal remains resolute – to END violence against women and girls.
By making the White Ribbon NI pledge to never commit, condone or stay silent about violence against women and girls an organisation makes a commitment to taking the steps necessary to make our society a safer place for women. After making the pledge organisations commit to making lasting change through their staff, their policies and their day-to-day work; as well as their role within the communities in which they are based.
We believe that violence against women and girls starts with ideas, words and thoughts long before it becomes action.
We believe giving young people the information, they need about healthy relationships is a step we can all take towards being part of the solution.
We believe engaging men and boys in this important work is key if we are to inspire real change and create a safer society for everyone.
We believe everyone has an important role to play as allies and agents of change at an individual and systemic societal level. We provide workshops which inform, empower and encourage young people to speak out about violence against women and girls.
We believe in the influence of sports culture and work with teams and sports organisations such as the Northern Ireland Football League and the Ulster GAA to ensure teams understand their high level of responsibility to be positive role models and lead the way towards a future free from violence against women in all its forms.
We believe in order to really work towards protecting women and girls, we need those in leadership roles - in businesses, in churches, in schools and in community groups to stand up and speak out. Workplaces have a key role in influencing the behaviour of individuals and groups and have the power to influence the culture shift necessary to end violence against women. After making the pledge organisations commit to making lasting change through their staff, their policies and their day-to-day work; as well as their role within the communities in which they are based.
We help organisations to make a Listen, Learn, Lead Action plan which clearly sets out the criteria an organisation must meet to successfully achieve White Ribbon NI accreditation. Organisations seeking accreditation are required to develop a three-year action plan, reviewed annually, which offers achievable goals to bring about genuine change.
White Ribbon is a simple message, it is a personal pledge and our voice is strengthened by ALL who choose to make it.