Vanuatu Red Cross recently joined organisations such as UN Women, Department of Womens Affairs and the Ministry of Justice and Community services in honouring the UN’s global 16 Days of Activism campaign.
The campaign kicked off with a parade through the streets of Port Vila, followed by a range of activities organised by various organisations to promote their chosen ‘International Day’ of focus. This year Vanuatu Red Cross took the lead on White Ribbon Day/‘The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women’ activities. Their Australian Red Cross supported campaign focused primarily on the issue of sexual and gender-based violence during disaster.
“The White Ribbon Campaign is about recognising the positive role that men play in preventing violence against women”, said Vanuatu Red Cross Gender and Protection Coordinator, Renie Anderson. “The Campaign is a means for men to speak out against violence against women, and to safely and effectively challenge the attitudes and behaviours of men who use or condone violence against women.”
Activities organised specifically by Red Cross include youth group drama performances and a panel discussion. They also participated in a radio interview and encouraged other humanitarian organisations around Port Vila to get involved in the 16 Days of Activism campaign.
Whilst their primary event took place in Port Vila as part of the launch of the wider 16 Days of Activism campaign, White Ribbon Day events were also organised Vanuatu-wide through Red Cross provincial branch office’s in Tanna, Santo, Ambae, and Vanualava. “Ultimately, we’re encouraging all men Vanuatu-wide to take the White Ribbon pledge: to never commit, ignore or remain silent about men’s violence towards women, especially during disaster” remarked Ms. Anderson.