Saturday 1428 – 16th March 2013
Last week I was at the Million Women Rise march in London which was highlighting the endemic nature, around the world, of violence against women. You can read my article here and in it I said “Come on men where are you “. This was really my way of asking what 49% of the world’s population-the males of the human species – are doing about the violence against women by their fellow man. We all know there are lots of women’s groups fighting for equality but where are the mens groups.
Well, my dear blogging friend Scilla http://scillagrace.com/ told me, in a comment on the original post, about the global “Ring the Bell” campaign so I’ve done a bit of research and thought how great it would be to share this with you all.
The campaign was launched on the 8th March, International women’s day and it also coincided with the 57th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
Actor and activist Sir Patrick Stewart was one of the people who launched the campaign and he made a rousing speech at the event, which took place in New York at the UN Hotel, during which he slapped his hand on the podium 9 times saying “Every nine seconds a woman is assaulted or beaten in the United States ” The campaign is calling on One Million Men to make one million “concrete, actionable promises” aimed at ending violence against women”
He said “Violence against women is the single greatest human rights violation of our generation. This is a call to action—not an act that will make things better in six months or a year’s time. This is action that might save a life today, or tonight, or tomorrow.”
Mr Stewart is involved because he witnessed his father physically abusing his mother when he was a small child and learnt to gauge the temperature of a situation –
“I became an expert on when to open the door and throw myself between my father’s fist and my mother’s body,” Stewart said that his father “was unable to control his emotions—and his hands.” and he was clear that his mother did nothing to provoke the violence and as he rightly pointed out even if she did violence is no way to solve conflict. This story could be repeated by millions others I am sure.
He went on to talk about his father being an eminent soldier and suffering from diagnosed shell-shock, for which he received no treatment. Though he was not excusing his father’s behaviour he was, I believe, highlighting the need for help for men to identify why they are violent so they can be stopped . Recent research has shown that military men are far more likely to abuse than civilians, hardly surprising when war brutalises and dehumanises people.
You can watch and listen to the whole launch if you have a mind to, it’s very interesting with lots of different speakers.. The link is here
If you click on the photo below it will bring you through to the United Nations where Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says
“Men must teach each other that real men do not violate or oppress women – and that a woman’s place is not just in the home or the field, but in schools and offices and boardrooms.”
I was so very encouraged by these movements and I hope they grow and grow until the violence stops..
I was saddened though that I knew so little about this. Did you know?? Has the UN movement been widely advertised ? If it has I have missed it.
You can make a promise here to take action in whatever way you can to end violence against women..
Men need to confront other men and encourage change.
Saturday Girl signing off now. Let us all, men and women, be the change we want to see in the world. ‘Til next week…
You can find my photography blog Photomania here and I hope you’ll pop over and take a look if you haven’t already..