Understanding White Ribbon and its relevance for local councils


Author: Daisy Petrow, communications officer, the National Association of Local Councils (NALC)

In the landscape of societal change, the White Ribbon campaign stands as a beacon of hope and advocacy, aiming to end violence against women and girls. But what exactly is White Ribbon, and why does it matter? Let’s delve into this crucial initiative and explore its significance for local (parish and town) councils, and how they can actively participate.

What is White Ribbon?

White Ribbon is the UK’s leading charity engaging men and boys to end violence against women and girls. White Ribbon seeks to address the root causes of violence against women, promote gender equality, and foster healthy relationships. Its mission is to engage men and boys as allies in this fight, recognising that they play a pivotal role in challenging and changing harmful attitudes and behaviours.

At its core, White Ribbon operates on the principle of prevention through education and awareness. By encouraging men and boys to take a public pledge never to commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women, the campaign sparks crucial conversations and actions that challenge the norms perpetuating such violence.

Why does it matter?

The importance of White Ribbon can’t be overstated in a society grappling with the pervasive issue of gender-based violence. Here are a few reasons why it matters:

  • Raising awareness: White Ribbon serves as a platform to raise awareness about the prevalence and impact of violence against women and girls. By shining a light on this issue, it encourages individuals and communities to confront it head-on.
  • Promoting gender equality: At its core, White Ribbon advocates for gender equality. By engaging men and boys in this conversation, it challenges traditional gender norms and promotes a more equitable society where everyone can thrive free from violence and discrimination.
  • Empowering communities: Through education and advocacy, White Ribbon empowers communities to take a stand against violence. It fosters a sense of solidarity and collective responsibility, creating safer spaces for everyone, especially those most vulnerable.

How can local councils get involved?

Local councils are integral to the success of initiatives like White Ribbon at the grassroots level. Here’s how they can get involved.

  • Declaration of support: Local councils can publicly declare their support for White Ribbon by issuing statements affirming their commitment to ending violence against women and girls or registering as a supporter or accredited organisation.
  • Community engagement: Councils can actively engage with their communities to raise awareness about White Ribbon and its message. This can involve hosting events, distributing educational materials, or inviting guest speakers to discuss the issue.
  • Policy advocacy: Councils have the power to influence local policies and initiatives that address gender-based violence. By advocating for measures such as improved support services for survivors or funding for prevention programmes, they can make a tangible difference in their communities.
  • Partnerships: Collaboration is key to the success of any campaign, and local councils can forge partnerships with local organisations, schools, businesses, and community groups to amplify the message of White Ribbon and coordinate efforts to combat violence against women and girls.

How can individuals get involved?

Read the non-extensive list about how individuals can get involved in White Ribbon and challenge violence against women and girls in their everyday lives.

  • Take the White Ribbon promise to demonstrate your committment to never commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women and girls.
  • Share information about White Ribbon on social media platforms.
  • Participate in local events and campaigns organised by White Ribbon or related organisations.
  • Volunteers with organisations that support survivors of violence.
  • Engage in conversations with friends, family, and colleagues about the importance of ending gender-based violence.
  • Advocate for policies and initiatives that address the root causes of violence against women and promote gender equality.
  • Educate oneself about the issue of gender-based violence and its impact on individuals and communities.
  • Support and amplify the voices of survivors by listening to their experiences and advocating for their needs and rights.

In a world where the shadows of gender-based violence loom large, initiatives like White Ribbon offer a glimmer of hope and a pathway to change. By engaging men and boys as allies and advocates, it seeks to create a future where every individual can live free from fear and oppression. 

For local councils, embracing the principles of White Ribbon is not just a moral imperative but a practical necessity. By actively supporting and participating in this campaign, they can contribute to the creation of safer, more inclusive communities where everyone can thrive. So, let’s stand together, pledge our support and work towards a future where violence against women and girls is nothing but a distant memory.

To find out more information about White Ribbon, or for assistance with the accreditation process, please email 

The following blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered professional or legal advice. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Association of Local Councils. Any links to external sources included in this blog post are provided for convenience and do not constitute endorsement or approval of those websites' content, products, services, or policies. Therefore, readers should use discretion and judgment when applying the information to their circumstances. Finally, this blog post may be updated or revised without notice.

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