White Ribbon Day

Beth Kozick, Associate Director for Student and Academic Services, shares the history of White Ribbon Day, and how HBS students can pledge to help stop violence against women.

[stag_dropcap font_size=”50px” style=”normal”]A[/stag_dropcap]ccording to a 2013 global review of available data, conducted by UN Women, 35% of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. studies in the United States also reveal that one in three women have experienced rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner

white ribbon 2In 2008, Jane Doe Inc. founded the Massachusetts White Ribbon Day Campaign as a prevention strategy to help end male violence against women. Ever since, Massachusetts celebrates White Ribbon Day on the first Thursday of March. The Massachusetts White Ribbon Day Campaign is part of an international human rights effort urging men to speak out against violence towards women. The white ribbon has become an international symbol for this cause.

Here is what some of your peers at HBS said when asked the question: “Why is it important for men to speak out and stand up against violence against women?”

“By acknowledging violence against women is an issue, we can work towards preventing it from happening.  On the contrary, doing nothing is in fact doing something, surely, ‘Those things that are exposed to the light are made evident.’” -Richard Buckner (RC)

“While some of us may never be directly involved in gender violence – perhaps even be so lucky as to never have a close loved one involved – we are all members of a society in which it still happens, and happens far too often. That makes us all bystanders responsible for not only standing up to violence, but also speaking out when others perpetuate a culture, through word or action, of violence against women. We owe it to women, but we also owe it to our sons who deserve better than to be socialized into communities that allow the definition of manhood to include a tacit acceptance of violence. As men, we can and must do better.” -Sandy Gill (EC)

“It’s not a question as to who should speak out against violence against women. Everyone must speak out and stand up against it! That’s the only way we will see a change.” -Nikhil Sachdeva (RC)

“The real leaders of the 21st century will be those individuals who are respectful, tolerant, and inclusive of all people regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation. Men need to re-define masculine culture so that violence against women is not seen as a symbol of power, but as a weak, a cowardly, and an ‘unmanly’ thing to do.” -Sean McBride (EC)

“No one deserves to be the victim of violence. Regardless of gender, we hold a duty to society to stand firm against it. Only together will we end the hurt, heal, and move forward to make the world a better place.” -Jose Arche (RC)

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Some practical things that men can do to help end violence against women:

[stag_dropcap font_size=”50px” style=”normal”]1[/stag_dropcap] Learn to identify and oppose sexual harassment and violence in your workplace, school and family.

[stag_dropcap font_size=”50px” style=”normal”]2[/stag_dropcap]  Educate yourself and others about masculinity, gender inequality, and the root causes of gender violence.

[stag_dropcap font_size=”50px” style=”normal”]3[/stag_dropcap] Understand how your own attitudes and actions may perpetuate sexism and violence and work toward changing them.

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Men and women are invited to help the HBS community bring awareness to this important issue. On Thursday, March 5th, from 11:30am-1:30pm, stop by the game room of the Spangler Center Grille to pick up a white ribbon and pledge to:

[stag_dropcap font_size=”50px” style=”normal”]1[/stag_dropcap] Change societal attitudes and beliefs that perpetuate and make excuses for violence against women

[stag_dropcap font_size=”50px” style=”normal”]2[/stag_dropcap] Foster a positive image of masculinity

[stag_dropcap font_size=”50px” style=”normal”]3[/stag_dropcap] Promote safety and respect in all relationships and situations


For more information on White Ribbon Day in Massachusetts or how you can be part of the solution, go to //www.janedoe.org/whiteribbonday or contact Beth Kozik in MBA Student & Academic Services, 617-495-6934, ekozik@hbs.edu.