PART 1: BACKGROUND, PURPOSE AND FOCUS OF WHITE RIBBON CAMPAIGN

1.1 Background

Globally, at least one in every three women becomes a victim of batter, sexually harassment or abuse by a spouse in her lifetime. Forty-eight worldwide surveys show that 10 to 69% of women admitted to being victims of physical assault by an intimate partner at the course of their lives. Women between the age of 15 and 44 are more likely to be victims of domestic violence and rape than of cancer, war, motor accidents and malaria. Every year, about 80,000 women worldwide suffer rape of attempted rape. Over 60 million women are dead because of female infanticide and sex-selective abortions. In addition, various global surveys indicate that former or current spouses are the major causes of death in half of all women who die due to homicide deaths. Hence, statistics concerning domestic violence prove that domestic violence is a global epidemic.

Several efforts have been put in place by many governmental and private organizations worldwide in order to curb domestic violence. However, around 102 states still have no legal provisions for fighting domestic violence (Drezin & Lloyd-Laney 2003). Yet still, many of them have laws with loopholes that tolerate perpetrators of impunity. For instance, some countries set rapists free with the condition that he marries the victim. There is significant progress to establish international norms and standards. Violence against women should be given priority at all levels. There is a need for consistent assistance, resource investment and strengthening of data collection for sound policymaking. Under reporting of domestic violence cases is a major challenge as reported by police (‘UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign’ 2011).


Domestic violence causes tremendous effects in communities. Domestic violence affects people across all social, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and age groups. Domestic violence affects individuals, children, families, friends, co-workers and employers thereby affecting the quality of lives in communities. It can result into far-reaching consequences such as social, financial, health and psychological. According to the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, violence against women persists as among the most terrible and rampant abuse of human rights around the globe. He refers to it as a threat to every woman as well as a barrier to peace, development and gender equality efforts. Men are the main perpetrators of an overwhelming proportion of violence against women. The roots of the violence lie in the basic issues regarding violent masculinity in men and gender inequality in women. Whereas not all men get involved in violence against women, their silence tolerates and perpetrates it and thus, the need for a strategic response (Berkowitz 2004).  Among the many organizations and advocacies that have been formed to ensure that women are salvaged from quagmire of domestic violence is the White Ribbon Campaign. This campaign will form the central focus of this essay, being one of the best illustrations of social marketing.

1.2 Campaign Purpose and Benefits

The White Ribbon Campaign (WRC) was started 1991 by men in Canada out of the desire to take responsibility and urge men to talk about violence against women. A board of directors consisting of volunteers in Canada runs the WRC.  It marks the largest worldwide effort of men’s opposition towards violence on women. The white ribbon is a symbol of men’s fight against violence against women. Wearing a white ribbon shows a person’s pledge to never condone, commit or be silent about gender-based violence. It simply means “Our Future Has No Violence against Women” The major goal of WRC is to end any form of violence against women (Donovan & Vlais 2005).

Focus Group Discussions and quantitative techniques help in obtaining evaluation data. The extent of attitude change is determined by administering questionnaires to a sample of men. This assesses the level of men’s awareness on gender-based issues and attitude change due to their participation in the campaign. Other measurable outcomes include the number of gender violence cases reported by the police, the number of men who are willing to discuss gender issues and men’s understanding of the behaviors constituting to violence against women. .

1.3 Campaign Focus

The WRC involves men and boys working towards ending violence against women. It focuses on the following areas in order to accomplish its goal:

  • To challenge every person to speak out and reflect on their own language, beliefs and actions

  • To educate young people, particularly young men and boys on violence against women via educational resources

  • To raise awareness on violence against women

  • To collaborate with the corporate sector, women’s organizations, media and stakeholders to create a future free of violence against women

  • To support the White Ribbon Campaigns across all continents with experiences, networks and resources

PART 2: SITUATION ANALYSIS

2.1 Internal Strengths

Commitment: The staff, board of directors and the stakeholders of WRC have a great commitment in the fight against violence on women. This commitment has lead to the attraction of volunteers, members and contributions.

Productivity: Since its establishment in 1991, the WRC has spread to over 55 countries around the world causing significant awareness on gender-based violence. It utilizes the available funds, time and talents of interns, volunteers and board members.

National Capacity Building and Facilitation: The WRC collaborates with other international organizations to enhance continuous awareness on violence against women.

2.2 Internal Weaknesses

Inadequate Resources: The major challenge in the WRC is the lack of adequate resources. The campaign requires many resources in order to the extent its efforts across all continents.

Monitoring and Evaluation: Measuring attitude change of men and boys proves to be a difficult process. The campaign uses questionnaires to measure attitude change and this may not reflect the actual impact of the campaign. There is a need to identify other effective techniques for monitoring and evaluation.

Another outstanding weakness of this campaign is the lack of articulate structures for inclusion of men in the campaign.

2.3 External Opportunities

Because most organizations, both with and without government affiliations have great passions for the campaign against gender-based violence, WRC stands high opportunities of partnership with a myriad of these organizations. The possibility of cooperation with UN agencies and other non-governmental bodies is one of the major chances of enhancing performance. Should the campaign utilize this opportunity, then the achievement of its objectives is out of question.

2.4 External Threats

Although different communities have received the campaign with a lot of excitement, still there are some negative aspects associated with it. These include those factors, which threaten to derail the campaign from attaining its objectives. They include the possible resistant from men who camouflage in the name of men activists or anti feminists. Their operations have a high possibility of negating the gains made through White Ribbon Campaign.

PART 3: TARGET MARKET

3.1 Target Group

The target group of the campaign is young men and boys. Women are not a target group for this campaign although they participate in most of the campaign activities. Women are also part of the board and staff. In some communities, campuses and countries, men exclusively lead the white ribbon while in others it is a joint effort with both men and women leading. Despite the fact that the white ribbon symbolizes the opposition of men towards violence, both men and women in most schools and communities wear it (Todd, Carolo, Dinner, & Jones 2011, p. 4).

3.2 Barriers

The barriers that are likely to hinder men and boys from adopting gender equality practices are both cultural and systematic. These include traditional norms and practices regarding masculinity, lack of male role models embracing gender equality, perception that gender issues are women’s issues and lack of experience of men’s involvement in gender issues in many organizations and governments. The protectiveness of men concerning their powers and privileges serves as a hindrance in fighting against violence on women. In order to increase the participation of men and boys, programs should deconstruct and redefine the traditional masculinities. The use of social policies help in addressing and promoting increased family roles, equal responsibilities and fatherhood and hence increase women’s role in the society as well as improving the men’s emotional health.

3.4 Benefits

Avoiding violence against women has several benefits. Firstly, successful elimination of violence against women would lead to improved lives of girls and women in the workplace, community and at home. It reduces the risk of poor mental, reproductive and physical health including the reduction of women’s deaths resulting from domestic violence. To the community, lack of gender-based violence creates a wide range of social consensus on the issues perceived as relating to women while in reality affect men as well. This will preserve the resources used in fighting violence against women. It develops effective partnerships between men and women and between organizations and institutions thereby leading to equal representation of men and women’s needs. Additionally, it isolates and marginalizes men who work on preserving the privilege and power of men. It gives unexpected insights to current gender issues and complex forces that enhance gender inequality. Furthermore, getting rid of violence against women will offer unexpected insights into other cultural, social and political issues.

3.5 Objectives

The objectives of the WRC campaign include:

  • Strengthening Individual Knowledge and Skills: This involves enhancing the capacity of individuals to prevent or avoid violence with real life situations and practical tips. Men’s ideas, actions, beliefs and language are assessed in order to reach a consensus.

  • Promoting Community Education: Focus group discussions are effective in raisingthe community awareness especially if combined with public campaigns.

  • Educating Professional and Service Providers: The WRC trains service providers and professionals to build capacity for gender equity in youth services.

  • Engaging and Mobilizing Communities: Another objective of WRC is to change power relations, social norms and gender roles that contribute to violence against women. This entails building networks and coalitions, organizing events and campaigns to foster non-violent practices and norms.

  • Changing Organizational Practices: The WRC intends to change harmful practices often, but not exclusively in men dominated organizations.

  • Influencing policy and legislation: WRC addresses gender inequalities in legislation, policy and the justice system and emphasizes the need for national resources and plans for violence prevention. It identifies the positive policy and legislation aspects that can be improved, utilized and shared across states (Todd M 2005, p. 33).


PART 4: COMPETITION

4.1 Competing Alternative Behaviors

The campaign is still faced by some competing behaviors despite being in existence for a while. Such behaviors as wife battering, sexual assault, and discrimination compete with the desirable character of men advocated for by the campaign. In contexts where this habit is deeply permeated, it becomes hard for such advocacies to achieve substantive results.

4.2 Benefits and Costs

Such alternative competing behaviors are inspired by the desire to maintain male dominance. Furthermore, they serve to enhance ego and pride coming alongside being a man. The problem with these behaviors is inherent in disharmony and unstable families in most parts of the world. Women who can no longer tolerate totalitarian conduct of men can easily walk out of their marriages. It is a costly extreme of these alternative behaviors.

PART 5: POSITIONING

5.1 Positioning Statement

The three men who founded the White Ribbon Campaign are interested in seeing alleviation of suffering amongst women through violence, discrimination, physical assault, and sexual harassment. They believe that this is achievable through involvement of young men and boys who are in their foundational stage of life. The ultimate desire is to have men across the world realize that WRC activities are more important and beneficial than antifeminism and disregard of women right as an excuse of safeguarding male dominance in the society.


References
Berkowitz, A 2004, ‘Working With Men to Prevent Violence against Women: An Overview’

Retrieved October 20, 2011, from www.vaw.umn.edu/documents/vawnet/armenpreventvaw2/armenpreventvaw2.html

Donovan, RJ, Vlais, R 2005, VicHealth Review of Communication Components of Social

Marketing/Public Education Campaigns Focusing on Violence against Women. Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, Melbourne.

Donovan, RJ, Paterson, D & Francas, M 1999, ‘Targeting Male Perpetrators of Intimate partner

Violence: Western Australian’s ‘Freedom from Fear’ Campaign’, Social Marketing, 5(3), 127-144.

Drezin, J & Lloyd-Laney, M 2003, Making a Difference Strategic Communications to end

Violence against Women. UNIFEM. Retrieved October 20, 2011 from www.unifem.org/resources/item_detail.php? ProductID=6

Todd M, Carolo H, Dinner, T & Jones C 2011, ‘Engaging Men and Boys to Reduce and

Prevent Gender-Based Violence’, Status of Women Canada.

Todd M 2005, The White Ribbon Campaign Men and Boys Working to End Violence against

Women, Capacity Building Workshop Retrieved October 20, 2011 from http://www.igwg.org/igwg_media/capacitybldg/minerson-pm.pdf

‘UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign’, Retrieved October 20, 2011 from

http://www.un.org/en/women/endviolence/index.shtml


Appendices

             
Education Action Kit
  

One of the founders

Promoting Community Education
 Strength Based Approach Example