‘White men’ demonstrating against violence towards women are slammed for ‘stealing’ the occasion

‘White men’ demonstrating against violence towards women on UN anti-abuse day are slammed for ‘stealing’ the occasion and ‘erasing an event connected to Hispanic women’

  • White Ribbon Day is held on November 25 to protest violence towards women
  • The UN Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is also held then
  • Campaigner Karen Ingala-Smith said White Ribbon Day takes from the UN Day
  • White Ribbon Day was founded by a group of pro-feminist men in Ontario, 1991 

‘White men’ demonstrating against violence towards women on the United Nations‘ anti-abuse day have been slammed by a campaigner for ‘stealing’ the occasion and ‘erasing an event connected to Hispanic women’. 

White Ribbon Day, a protest day created by men to promote ending male violence towards women, is held on November 25. 

It was formed by a group of pro-feminist men in Ontario in 1991 after Marc Lépine shot dead 14 female students at the École Polytechnique in Montreal on December 6, 1989. 

But the day is also home to the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – born out a day of protest for the Mirabal sisters, who were murdered in the Dominican Republic in 1960. 

Karen Ingala-Smith, chief executive of domestic violence charity Nia, said: ‘That was honouring women of colour, so we’ve got a bunch of white Canadian men stealing the day, and erasing an event connected to Hispanic women.

White Ribbon Day, a protest day created by men to promote ending male violence towards women, is held on November 25. Pictured: Tom Meagher with students from Blakestown Community School, who performed a mime piece for White Ribbon Day

White Ribbon Day, a protest day created by men to promote ending male violence towards women, is held on November 25. Pictured: Tom Meagher with students from Blakestown Community School, who performed a mime piece for White Ribbon Day

Karen Ingala-Smith, chief executive of domestic violence charity Nia, said: 'That was honouring women of colour, so we've got a bunch of white Canadian men stealing the day, and erasing an event connected to Hispanic women'

Karen Ingala-Smith, chief executive of domestic violence charity Nia, said: ‘That was honouring women of colour, so we’ve got a bunch of white Canadian men stealing the day, and erasing an event connected to Hispanic women’

The day is also home to the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women - born out a day of protest for the Mirabal sisters (pictured), who were murdered in the Dominican Republic in 1960

The day is also home to the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – born out a day of protest for the Mirabal sisters (pictured), who were murdered in the Dominican Republic in 1960

‘It’s good to get men to say that men’s violence against women is a problem, but I just think they could have picked another day, like December 6,’ reported The Times.

British writer and campaigner Ingala-Smith, a self-described ‘feminist idealistic cynic’, has been CEO of Nia since 2019. 

She has spent over a decade on a project called Counting Dead Women – recording all women killed by men since January 2012.

Anthea Sully, who runs White Ribbon in the UK said: ‘White Ribbon Day enables us to give focus to what must be said all year round: that we need all men to know they can bring about the change needed to end violence against women.’

Sully said that the day was not about men ‘taking over’, but instead about them ‘taking responsibility’.

The ‘white ribbon’ is intended to symbolise the idea of men surrendering their arms and the campaign is active in over 60 countries on November 25 each year. 

On the campaign’s website, organisers say: ‘Our mission is to prevent violence against women and girls by addressing its root causes. 

‘Our aim is to change long established, and harmful, attitudes, systems and behaviours around masculinity that perpetuate gender inequality and men’s violence against women.’ 

Anthea Sully, who runs White Ribbon in the UK, said that the day was not about men 'taking over', but instead about them 'taking responsibility'

Anthea Sully, who runs White Ribbon in the UK, said that the day was not about men ‘taking over’, but instead about them ‘taking responsibility’

The UN day was born after political activists Patria, Maria Teresa and Minerva Mirabal were murdered in the Dominican Republic in 1960 for opposing the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Pictured: Bust of the sisters

The UN day was born after political activists Patria, Maria Teresa and Minerva Mirabal were murdered in the Dominican Republic in 1960 for opposing the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Pictured: Bust of the sisters

The 'white ribbon' is intended to symbolise the idea of men surrendering their arms and the campaign is active in over 60 countries on November 25 each year

The ‘white ribbon’ is intended to symbolise the idea of men surrendering their arms and the campaign is active in over 60 countries on November 25 each year

The UN day was born after political activists Patria, Maria Teresa and Minerva Mirabal were murdered in the Dominican Republic in 1960 for opposing the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo.

They were strangled  and clubbed to death and their bodies were driven off a mountain road in a jeep to make it look like an accident.

It follows a series of high-profile court cases about violence towards women in the UK.

Jordan McSweeney, 29, admitted on Friday he murdered law graduate Zara Aleena, 35, in east London over the summer.

And the Sarah Everard case last year, where the 33-year-olld was kidnapped, raped and murdered by Wayne Couzens, has put huge pressure on society to bring about change. 

The number of rapes rose by 20 per cent on pre-Covid figures, with 70,600 in the year to June – a new record – according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 

Victim Support said the figures prove that ‘women deserve better’. 

The most recent data from the Home Office shows that just nine per cent of reported sexual offences and 1.3 per cent of rapes result in a charge or summons in court.

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