Change "White Ribbon Day" in Australia to 6 December
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25 November is a red-letter day on the feminist calendar: the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
The UN chose that date specifically to commemorate Patria, Minerva and María Teresa Mirabal, three sisters who were political activists in the Dominican Republic and were assassinated in 1960, on orders of dictator Rafael Trujillo.
25 November is also White Ribbon Day – but only in Australia and New Zealand. WRD started in Canada in 1991, when 6 December was chosen as White Ribbon Day to memorialise the École Polytechnique Massacre (aka the Montreal Massacre), where fourteen women were murdered and ten injured by Marc Lépine, who had claimed he was fighting feminism.
But at some stage White Ribbon Australia, instead of following their originators’ lead, decided to plonk White Ribbon Day down on 25 November. So the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – a truly global day paying tribute to women who have suffered and died at the hands of men – was co-opted by… men.
Many feminists say there are far better ways to act to end #ViolenceAgainstWomen than simply “raising awareness”.
We feel an appropriate gesture would be for you to move the date of your White Ribbon Day to 6 December, to acknowledge your organisation's origins – and leave 25 November to women and girls around the world.
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