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The White Ribbon Campaign (WRC) is a global movement of men and boys working to end male violence against women and girls. It was formed by a group of pro-feminist men in London, Ontario in November 1991 as a response to the École Polytechnique massacre of female students by Marc Lépine in 1989. The campaign was intended to raise awareness about the prevalence of male violence against women, with the ribbon symbolizing "the idea of men giving up their arms."[2][3][4] Active in over 60 countries, the movement seeks to promote healthy relationships, gender equity, and a compassionate vision of masculinity.[5]

White Ribbon Campaign
White Ribbon Campaign logo.png
Abbreviation WRC
Formation November 1991 (November 1991)
Founder Jack Layton, Ron Sluser, Michael Kaufman[1]
Type Non-profit
Purpose Ending violence against women
Executive Director
Humberto Carolo



Much of their work centres around gender violence prevention which includes educating and mentoring young men about issues such as violence and gender equality. Men and boys are encouraged to wear white ribbons as a symbol of their opposition to violence against women. They are particularly encouraged to wear these during White Ribbon week which starts on November the 25th which is the UN Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.[5]

The White Ribbon Campaign is active in over 60 nations across the world including Canada, Australia, Pakistan, Italy and the UK.


In 2014 the men’s rights activist organisation A Voice for Men launched as a counter to the White Ribbon campaign,[6][7] adopting graphics and language from White Ribbon.[8] It is owned by Erin Pizzey and has the slogan "Stop Violence Against Everyone".[9] Accused of "hijacking" White Ribbon,[10] the site was harshly criticized by Todd Minerson, the former executive director of The White Ribbon Campaign, who described it as "a copycat campaign articulating their archaic views and denials about the realities of gender-based violence".[11] The site presents the claim that domestic violence is a learned behaviour from childhood, perpetrated equally by women and men. The website has faced much criticism, being accused of displaying "anti-feminist propaganda".[3]


  1. ^ "White Ribbon Campaign: 20 Years Working to End Violence Against Women". November 24, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Men wearing white ribbons". CBC. November 27, 1991. Archived from the original on 2011-06-29. Retrieved March 7, 2007. 
  3. ^ a b Filipovic, Jill (24 October 2014). "Why Is an Anti-Feminist Website Impersonating a Domestic Violence Organization?". Cosmopolitan. Hearst Communications. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  4. ^ Blake, Mariah (January 2015). "Mad Men: Inside the Men's Rights Movement—and the Army of Misogynists and Trolls It Spawned". Mother Jones. 
  5. ^ a b "Who We Are". White Ribbon. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Browne, Rachel. (November 4, 2014). "Domestic violence group White Ribbon Australia in domain name dispute", Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  7. ^ Filipovic, Jill. (October 24, 2014). "Why Is an Anti-Feminist Website Impersonating a Domestic Violence Organization?", Cosmopolitan. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  8. ^ McDonough, Katie (October 23, 2014). "Men's rights group launches creepy website to co-opt respected anti-violence campaign". Salon. 
  9. ^ About Archived 2016-07-30 at the Wayback Machine.:, owned by domestic violence pioneer Erin Pizzey
  10. ^ Schetzer, Alana. (November 2, 2014). "'Fake' White Ribbon website faces legal action", Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  11. ^ Minerson, Todd. (October 23, 2014). "White Ribbon Copycat Statement", White Ribbon. Retrieved July 7, 2015.

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