- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Farming organisation will team up with the Women’s Institute at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair today (Monday November 26) to raise awareness about the White Ribbon Not in my Name campaign against domestic violence.
The NFU, FUW and Wales Young Farmers Club will ask farmers and visitors to sign up to the White Ribbon pledge – never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.
The event, which will take place at the main pavilion at 11am today, the first day of the fair, has been organised jointly by the WI and Assembly Member Joyce Watson. The Mid and West Wales AM has teamed up with the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) Wales to recruit male ambassadors and organisations.
Mrs Watson said farming organisations can reach out to rural communities:
“I am delighted that farmers are taking the Not in my Name message in to the heart of rural Wales. Domestic abuse is an issue for all our communities – rural and urban. In a small village it can be an especially isolating, fearful experience. It is vital that men speak out on the subject. By changing the culture, the behaviour of a minority will become increasingly unacceptable.”
Each year, the White Ribbon Campaign urges men and boys to wear a ribbon for one or two week, starting on November 25, the International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women.
FUW president Emyr Jones said: “Most men are not violent towards women but in the past many may have ignored this problem or even seen it as something which doesn’t have anything to do with them.
“So I am particularly pleased that the FUW will be joining NFWI-Wales at the Winter Fair to take action towards ending the problem. I urge farmers to take a stand now and pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about men’s violence against women.
“We all strive to make our own rural community a better place and there is no more important way to do this than by working to eliminate violence against women.”
NFWI-Wales chair Margaret Lloyd Jones said: “Three million women across the UK experience rape, domestic violence, forced marriage, sexual exploitation or other forms of violence each year.
“It is vital that we engage with men to challenge and prevent the attitudes which perpetuate it. Using the strong links which they have in their local communities, WI members are approaching male groups to speak out against domestic violence.”
Mrs Watson, who is Chair of the Assembly Human Trafficking in Wales group, has raised awareness and fundraised for the White Ribbon campaign for several years. She was the Labour Party spokesperson for Rural Affairs in the Assembly before the last election.