Manchester City Council has taken a stand to end all male violence against women by becoming White Ribbon Accredited. The ceremony took place on Tuesday 8 March, International Women’s Day.
White Ribbon is a global campaign that encourages people, especially men and boys, to individually and collectively take action, challenge behaviour and change the culture that leads to abuse and violence. Their mission is for all men to fulfil the White Ribbon Promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.
Receiving the accreditation shows Manchester City Council’s commitment to improving culture, safety and morale within the organisation and the city. It also helps staff and communities address the serious issue of male violence against women and shows them how they can challenge all acts of misogyny and male chauvinism.
To amplify female voices in the city, the Council are assembling a task force of women Councillors who will ensure that issues affecting women are highlighted and tackled by Manchester City Council. The Council has also pledged to call on Greater Manchester Police to record the harassment of women and girls as a hate crime now, ahead of the Government deadline in Autumn.
Commitments made by Manchester City Council in their White Ribbon action plan include: establishing a network of male ambassadors to promote the message and raise awareness with other men across the city; updating its workplace domestic and sexual abuse policies, guidance and training; ensuring through the Safe Accommodation Pathway that there are housing and support services for women and children who need to flee violence and abuse; co-ordinating a range of measures to improve the safety of the city’s night-time economy.
Leader of Manchester City Council, Bev Craig said:
“As the first female leader of the Council ensuring Manchester is a city that is safe for women and girls is one of my top priorities. I want to make sure that women of all ages feel safe living, working and visiting the city.
“The task force of female councillors will include Councillors from all over the city, who will raise and amplify issues affecting women in all areas of Manchester- allowing us to act accordingly. In tandem with this, the male ambassadors will be able to encourage other men and boys to call out misogynistic behaviour and educate people on the issues of gender-based violence.”
Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, Luthfur Rahman OBE said:
“Manchester is the home of Pankhurst and the Women’s rights movement, we are proud as a city to have active campaigning and support organisations who have continually fought for the safety and protection of women.
“We will ensure that Manchester City Council continues to do everything in its power to build a city free from misogyny and violence against women and girls. Receiving a White Ribbon Accreditation is an honour, but we know we have much to do and must now get to work on tackling this issue.”
Anthea Sully, Chief Executive of White Ribbon UK said:
“Our call to end violence by raising awareness, educating and campaigning to bring about change is greatly strengthened by working together with our White Ribbon accredited organisations. Our partners are able to engage with many thousands of people to change the cultures that lead to violence against women and girls. We are delighted to welcome Manchester City Council as one of our White Ribbon Accredited organisations. Together we can prevent violence happening in the first place”.
More than 100 organisations have received White Ribbon accreditation, including councils, police forces, fire and rescue services, health authorities, housing associations, schools and universities. There is also a scheme for smaller organisations to become White Ribbon supporters.
Individuals can join over 37,000 others who have signed the White Ribbon UK pledge and get more information online at whiteribbon.org.uk.