Activism 101: 16 Ways for Men To Step Up in the fight to end Violence Against Women

Today is the fourth day of the 16 Days campaign, and it is with great pleasure that we present a special 16 for 16 article from our partner, the White Ribbon Campaign. The White Ribbon Campaign is the biggest movement in the world of men and boys working to end violence against women. This year, they lost one of their founders and biggest Male Allies of the movement to end violence against women – Jack Layton. It is testimony to the vision of Mr. Layton and the other White Ribbon campaign co-founders that their vision for a world without gender-based violence continues to this day, carried on by Todd Minerson and his team in Canada and other strong male leaders around the world. For that, we thank them.


Men and boys in their various roles as individuals, community members, leaders, educators, fathers, family members, staff of NGOS or policy makers have a responsibility and important role to play in promoting gender equality and ending violence against women and girls.

To help commemorate this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, the White Ribbon Campaign encourages you to take 16 steps to help make a powerful difference in promoting gender equality in your family, community, school, and workplace.

Step 1:  Think about the kind of man you want to be: kind, responsible, one that shares equally in family life and respects women and girls.

Step 2:  Be respectful towards women, girls, and other guys.  Sexism and homophobia hurts us all.

Step 3: Never use coercion, threats, or violence in your relationships with others.

Step 4: Ask first.  Whether it’s holding hands, kissing, or more, it’s important to communicate and seek consent.

Step 5: Wear a white ribbon and pledge to never commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women and girls.  Visit our website to order ribbons.

Step 6:  Teach your students and the youth in your community about gender equality and healthy, equal relationships.

Step 7:  Be a good role model and share with the boys and young men around you the importance of respecting women and girls.  Visit to find out how.

Step 8:  Learn about the impact of violence against women in your community.  Volunteer with a local shelter or a women’s organization.

Step 9:  Challenge and speak out against hurtful language, sexist jokes, and bullying, in your school, community, workplace, or place of worship.

Step 10:  Link your website to ours or place a banner for our It Starts With You Campaign on your website or blog and help us spread the word.

Step 11:  Accept your role as a man in helping to end violence against women.  It affects everyone.

Step 12:  Start a White Ribbon Club or Campaign in your school or community.  Visit our website to find out how.

Step 13:  Order our awareness materials and help educate others in your school, community, or workplace about men’s violence against women and girls.

Step 14:  Watch our collection of powerful digital stories to learn about the important connection between masculinity and gender equality.

Step 15:  As a community leader, policy maker, funder, or NGO staff member, read our issue brief to learn about the important role that men and boys can play in ending gender-based violence.

Step 16:  As a father or a family member, teaching the boys in your life about healthy equal relationships helps you do your part in creating healthy families and strengthening family bonds.



The White Ribbon logo and this article has been kindly prepared and generously shared by the White Ribbon Canada campaign.

2 thoughts on “Activism 101: 16 Ways for Men To Step Up in the fight to end Violence Against Women

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