- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Joyce unites male ambassadors to speak out against violence towards women
Men from across Wales take the White Ribbon pledge
Ice hockey players, politicians and male voice choirs united today to pledge their support to end violence against women.
At noon members of Cardiff Arms Park Male Voice Choir performed at the Senedd, and players from the Cardiff Devils ice hockey team and Assembly Members signed the White Ribbon pledge – never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.
Joyce Watson AM (Mid and West Wales) has organised the Not in my Name campaign with the National Federation of Women’s Institutes in Wales, recruiting male ambassadors from right across Wales to take the White Ribbon pledge.
Today’s Senedd event is part of a week of White Ribbon campaigning across Wales which Mrs Watson has arranged. On Sunday (18 November), Mrs Watson hosted a candlelit service at Brecon Cathedral. On Friday (23 November) Mrs Watson will join supporters of Carmarthen Women’s Aid on a candlelit march through Carmarthen town centre, and on Monday, 26 November, the National Federation of Women’s Institute (NFWI) Wales, National Farmers Union, Farming Union of Wales and Young farmers will take the Not in my Name message to the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in Builth Wells.
Joyce Watson AM (Mid & West Wales) said:
“It is vital that men speak out on this subject. By changing the culture, the behaviour of a minority will become increasingly unacceptable. I recruited former rugby players Derwyn Jones and Terry Davies as White Ribbon ambassadors some years ago, and since then the WRU and football clubs have taken up the pledge.
“I am delighted to work with the WI, which has a proud tradition of tackling difficult subjects, to reach out across Welsh society, to recruit further male ambassadors from all walks of life.”
Minister for Local Government and Communities, Carl Sargeant said:
“I am proud to show my support for the “Not in My Name” campaign, as well as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
“My own commitment to tackle all forms of violence against women is unwavering. This year the Welsh Government has provided over £4 million funding to support the delivery of effective Violence Against Women and Domestic Abuse services across Wales.”
Margaret Lloyd Jones, Chair of NFWI-Wales added:
“It is unacceptable that violence against women persists in today’s society and that 150,000 women in Wales suffer from gender-based violence every year.
“Over recent months, WIs across Wales have been using their strong community links to recruit male ambassadors and male groups to support White Ribbon Day and the Not in my Name campaign. A number of the groups recruited have included local male voice choirs and include Brecon Male Voice Choir, Bois Goetre-Hen a’r Cylch Male Voice Choir, Builth Wells Male Voice Choir, Glynneath Male Voice Choir and Rhayader Male Voice Choir.”
The campaign has also received support from the high profile male voice choir Only Men Aloud. Musical Director Tim Rhys-Evans said:-
“Only Men Aloud choir members were alarmed to discover the prevalence of domestic abuse suffered by women across Wales. We are giving our backing to White Ribbon Day and the WI’s Not in my Name campaign as we all have a crucial part to play in spreading the message that violence against women must not be tolerated in our society.
“In today’s world there is no place for violence against women and we as a male choir would encourage others to support the Campaign to help change the attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate violence against women.
“We will be raising awareness of this important campaign to our supporters through our website and other social media.”
The White Ribbon campaign encourages men to take responsibility for reducing the level of violence against women. 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.