A little bit of context
Sexual Harassment and Domestic Violence is a real and live issue in our society. Gender based attitudes are often at the core of what causes this. Over the past few years awareness around these issues have increased and there has been a shift from previous attitudes. Governments have established campaigns,taskforces and law enforcement has also taken a more serious approach. Although these are are postives steps they don't change the culture and attitudes which are essential to creating the social change needed.
But there’s a problem
Even in the wake of Sydney University’s research on sexual harassment and assault on campus and the movie Hunting Ground,we still see figures that are shocking. Currenlty:
> 1 women every week dies as a result of gender based violence.
> 1 in 3 will experience physcial or sexual violence perpretrated by someone known to them.
> 1 in 5 women over the age of 18 have either experienced stalking or harassment in their place of work.
> 1 in 4 children in Australia will be exposed to Domestic Violence growing up.
The economic and social cost of this damaging to society as a whole and stems directly from the attitudes and mindset that we have.
Here’s what we’re doing about it
Project: White Rakhi is an intiative that empowers individuals and communities to take ownership of the problem and stop the victimisation of women by promoting gender equality, respectful relationships and redefining male sterotypes.
The campaign is based around the tradition of 'Raksha Bandan or Rakhi' a celebration where by the bonds, obligations and respect between brothers and sisters are acknowledged and celebrated. In this celebration individuals will take various vows and oaths to each other.
Project: White Rakhi calls on all men to acknowledge all women regardless of their relation as fellow sisters in the spirit of Humanity. The intiative asks men to respect, protect and not neglect their fellow sisters by taking the White Ribbon Oath. In support men can wear a simple White Coloured wirst band ( known as a Rakhi) as symbolic of their stance and the oath they have taken to their fellow sisters. Individuals can also choose to exchange small gifts and sweets as part of celebrations.
In 2016, we started this small movement gather about 40 friends at in a University class room. This quickly gained the support and momentmum.The story was covered by the Local media India Downunder and Indus Age, as well as on SBS Radio.
Although small, this campaign aims to foster respectful relationships between sexes, increase gender equality and shape postive, respectful role models for men. A key part of this campaign is changing the attitude that young men have towards women.
We want men to be " bro's" rather than bystanders in situations of injustice. We urge men focus on creditentials rather than the view of women as mere potentials. We want to transform an almost predatory approach to one of genuine equality and respect.
Although she is not your sister, she is special to someone and its important to remember that. Put simply treat " her like a sister, not like you're her mister".
You can join us
Be apart of Project: White Rakhi a cause supported by White Ribbon Australia, Parliamentarians, Academic's and students a like and be part of a social change to impact generations to come. Your much valued donations will be help us to kick start our campaign online and throughout University campuses.
This year we have already sparked the interest of groups in Melbourne and across the world in Delhi, India. Your donation well enable us to get the right message across mulitple channels in order to promote a positive change.
Last year all profits where donated back to supporting local youth and womens shelters. All our wristbands are made in a sustainable manner using recycled fabrics and put together by a dedicated team of people from a womans shelter in Mumbai. These bands carry their stories, struggles as well as their aspirations for a better world.
And here’s some amazing perks for supporting us that you can’t live without
1) Donations to Project: White Rakhi will assist the campaign in guaranteeing a DGR (Charitable Status) in the future so that donations can become tax deductable.
2) Knowing that you are part of a social change that will shape young people, the leaders of tomorrow.
3) Giving to a cause build on sustainable principles.
4) Changing lives by providing an income to women in India, half way across the world in the worlds largest democracy, that are in tough situations.
5) A cause soley built on a humanistic platform.