The biggest white ribbon you ever did see

It seemed like a nice way to spend Wednesday lunchtime.

Amnesty is supporting the White Ribbon Campaign, an international movement encouraging men to get involved in tackling violence against women. Most men, even the nice ones, tend to think that as long as they're not hitting their own partner then violence against women is nothing to do with them. Not so.

Now the women's movement have done a pretty good job over the last 40 years in getting governments to sit up and take notice. Here in Scotland the integrated strategy to tackle violence against women is held up as a model of good practice.

Yet our record on domestic abuse is still very poor, and our rape conviction rate is amongst the lowest in the world. The old attitudes seem to be very ingrained.

And this is where men have a real contribution to make – in changing attitudes.

In the run up to International Women's Day we thought we should organise a little stunt to point out that this is an issue for men too. And so it was that I found myself helping to carry a giant (30 metres long) white ribbon around the streets of Edinburgh while colleagues handed out leaflets to passing citizens.

We had it fairly sussed. Just enough of us to stretch out over the length of the ribbon, a short but busy route and lovely sunshine. A shame about the Edinburgh wind that threatened to turn us into a giant white kite and which played havoc with our placards.

Still, mission accomplished – interested campaigners brought together and hundreds of folk given information about the campaign. You can see the photos here

And you can join the Edinburgh White Ribbon group by e-mailing

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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