History of the White Ribbon Campaign

Three sisters – Patria, Maria Teresa and Minerva Mirabel (political activists in the Dominican Republic) were assassinated in a ’car accident’. They were killed for their involvement in efforts to overthrow the fascist government of Rafael Trujillo. The Mirabel sisters quickly became symbols of dignity and inspiration. Their lives raised the spirits of all those they encountered and later, after their death, not only those in the Dominican Republic but others around the world.

[img_assist|nid=82|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=340|height=148]July 1981
Women from across Latin America came together in Columbia. Appalled by the extent and diversity of violence against women, they agreed to hold an annual day of protest, and they decided to adopt 25th November as the date for this International Day Against Violence Against Women in memory of the Mirabel sisters.

The first White Ribbon Campaign was launched by a group of men in Canada after the brutal mass shooting of 14 female students at the University of Montreal.

In South Africa the National Network on Violence Against Women launched their own White Ribbon Campaign and many South African women’s groups quickly adopted the White Ribbon symbol.

WOMANKIND launched the first White Ribbon Day in the UK.

The UN officially recognised 25th November as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The White Ribbon is a symbol of hope for a world where women and girls can live free from the fear of violence. Wearing the ribbon is about challenging the acceptability of violence – by getting men involved, helping women to break the silence, and encouraging everyone to come together to build a better world for all.

White Ribbon Campaign UK working to involve men in opposing violence against women is set up to co-operate with work done by Womankind Worldwide. White Ribbon Campaign UK website is launched

White Ribbon Campaign UK organization grows and develops wider campaigns.


Scotland White Ribbon Campaign appoints its first fulltime worker


Wales White Ribbon Campaign planning to set up independently in November





Board Diversity Plan 2018-2020


Keep up to date with White Ribbon Campaign UK, subscribe to our newsletter


26% of Scots surveyed in 2007 thought that a woman bore some responsibility for being raped if she wore revealing clothing

More facts