Tomorrow, 25 November, is a United Nations designated day to eliminate violence against women and girls and UNISON Cymru / Wales is busy raising awareness of the scale of the problem using its presence in workplaces right across Wales.
UNISON members are encouraging people to stand up to those committing violence against women, to speak up and to take action.
The union is an active participant in the White Ribbon Campaign. Wearing a white ribbon is a personal pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women. Men and boys are urged to wear a ribbon on 25 November.
Violence against women and girls is still one of the world’s most widespread human rights violations. It affects women of all ages, races, cultures, and social backgrounds and it happens everywhere: at home and at work, on the streets and in schools.
Worldwide, between 15 and 76 percent of women experience physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lives.
UNISON workplace awareness events include Newport City Council where the union will have a stall in the Civic Centre, to which all councillors have been invited. Union members will be selling white ribbons and providing information and in a wide-ranging consultation, the union is encouraging council workers to show their support for strengthening the current council policy on domestic abuse.
Elsewhere UNISON members at South Wales Police have received permission for a white flag to fly from their building; ribbons will be sold and information packs will be distributed to workplace reps.
Jennifer Griffin, UNISON lead organiser for women’s rights said, “Our message is ‘zero tolerance’ towards violence and abuse against women and girls. We want everyone to take a stand against violence now and are using our huge network of contacts with employers across Wales to raise awareness. We encourage boys and men to talk about the issue in schools and workplaces and sign the White Ribbon personal pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about men’s violence against women.”
The White Ribbon Campaign distributes education and action kits to schools. You can pledge your support at www.whiteribboncampaign.co.uk
Jennifer Griffin, UNISON Lead Organiser for Women’s Rights on 07908 142 673.