New York, NY (PRWEB) March 07, 2013
When it comes to violence against women, a crucial cultural shift has begun: men are thinking of themselves as part of the solution. Men stood with women protesting events in Delhi, Steubenville and Cairo; Dallas mayor Michael Rawlings, joined by Cowboys athletes, recently kicked off a citywide initiative challenging men to stop domestic violence. Driving this moment forward, global human rights group Breakthrough today announces the worldwide launch of the next phase of its Ring the Bell campaign to engage men in the effort to end violence against women. Over one year starting March 8, 2013, One million men. One million promises will gather one million promises from men to take concrete action to end violence against women.
Acclaimed actor and activist Sir Patrick Stewart (X-Men, Star Trek: The Next Generation) will host the event launching the campaign and offer his own promise. A survivor of domestic violence, Stewart has been a vocal advocate against domestic violence and for mens engagement to end the global pandemic of violence against women.
The truth is that domestic violence and violence against women touch many of us. This violence is not a private matter. Behind closed doors it is shielded and hidden and it only intensifies. It is protected by silence everyone’s silence. Violence against women is learned. Each of us must examine and change the ways in which our own behavior might contribute to, enable, ignore or excuse all such forms of violence. I promise to do so, and to invite other men and allies to do the same,” Stewart said.
One million men. One million promises, in partnership with the UN Secretary Generals UNiTE campaign, the UN Womens COMMIT campaign, the Clinton Global Initiative and many other groups worldwide, will launch on March 8, coinciding with International Womens Day and the 57th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, with a kick-off event at the ONE UN New York Hotel. Please RSVP to erin(at)caminopr(dot)com for exact details, as space is limited. Led by Breakthrough, coordinated live and social media events (#ringthebell) will take place in New York, Delhi, Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro, Kathmandu, and Stockholm, calling on men worldwide. Make your own promise here.
Stewart, Rawlings, multi-Grammy Award-winning singer Michael Bolton, and other male leaders will attend the launch to offer their promises to take action to end violence against women. Other leaders and celebrities, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, former NFL quarterback and college hall-of-famer Don McPherson, comedians Lewis Black and Dean Obedaillah, Political Director to Russell Simmons and Global Grind Co-President Michael Skolnik, Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo, Comic Relief CEO Kevin Cahill, actors Amitabh Bachchan and Rahul Bose, author and model Steven Santagati; Google India Managing Director Rajan Anandan, Indigo Airlines President Aditya Ghosh, musician DJ Spooky, and more including V-Day/One Billion Rising founder Eve Ensler, UN Women head Michelle Bachelet, and sitarist Anoushka Shankar have already joined the One million men. One million promises movement. (See videos of celebrity promises here.)
Effective laws, courts, and cops are essential, but they are not enough. We need to change the culture that excuses and enables violence against women and that requires everyone, including men, said Mallika Dutt, Breakthrough founder, President and CEO. If we work together to change norms, attitudes and actions, we can trigger the global tipping point we need. With men as partners and leaders, I believe that this generation can build a safer world for all.
One million men. One million promises is the first initiative of the global Ring the Bell campaign, which began in India in 2008 as Bell Bajao (Ring the Bell in Hindi). Through multimedia and on-the-ground engagement, Bell Bajao called on men to ring the doorbell literally or figuratively to interrupt overheard domestic violence. Bell Bajao made the private matter of violence against women a public problem and reached more than 130 million people through media, along with 7.5 million on the ground, and trained more than 75,000 young people to stand up for womens rights. The campaign has since been adapted in and expanded to China, Vietnam, Pakistan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Canada and more.
Key celebrity and luminary quotes
The truth is that domestic violence and violence against women touch many of us. This violence is not a private matter. Behind closed doors it is shielded and hidden and it only intensifies. It is protected by silence everyone’s silence. Violence against women is learned. Each of us must examine and change the ways in which our own behavior might contribute to, enable, ignore or excuse all such forms of violence. I promise to do so, and to invite other men and allies to do the same. Sir Patrick Stewart
Today I promise to continue my work in defense of women and children who experience domestic violence, human slavery and sex trafficking. I swear to encourage and recruit other boys and men who stand up to bullies and stalkers, rapists and oppressors. I commit as a man and as a father and grandfather of girls to advocate that men stand with survivors and work with women to stop what I believe to be domestic terrorism. I affirm that I will not stop in my efforts to inspire other men to stand up, speak out and demand an end to violence against women and children. I know we can build a peaceful world in my granddaughters’ lifetime. Let’s start now. Join me and Breakthrough’s One million men. One million promises and make your promise today. Michael Bolton
Imagine a world of happy and healthy families. Imagine a world of non-violence and peace. Here’s how we get there: Treat women and girls with respect. Join me to make a promise today to help stop violence against women. One million men making one million promises to promote equality that can change everything. Russell Simmons
“Listen Guys, enough with the idiotic violence toward women. You want to beat on someone do it to yourself. And take it like a man.” Lewis Black
Make no mistake: men’s violence against women is a men’s issue it’s our problem. And I’m here to say we’ve had enough of women being disrespected, and we won’t tolerate it any longer. It’s not only about not being violent; it’s about changing a culture that says violence is okay. I promise to stop laughing at jokes we’ve all participated in. I promise to speak out against domestic violence. And I’m asking men in Dallas and everywhere to do the same. Let’s make our homes, and our cities, safe for all. Mike Rawlings
Yesterday I was at a clinic we run in Africa called Bhubezi Clinic and there were 40 women in the room. Somebody asked the women if any of them had ever been raped, and there was laughter amongst the women. We asked why they were laughing. The women said, ‘Ask the question: Has anybody in this room not been raped?’ Not one woman put up her hand. As men, we all have something to give. We all have the power to do our own part to stop the global pandemic of violence against women and girls. It is holding us all back. We can all be leaders here, in ways small and in ways grand in Africa, in Europe, around the world, in our own homes and circles. So join me and become one of the million men making one million promises to help end the violence against women. Sir Richard Branson
I promise that in everything Greenpeace does, we will work to promote freedom of violence for women. When women are safer, our planet is safer. The two words that are critical to Greenpeace are “green,” protection of the environment and “peace,” promotion of peace, and it’s for that reason that we strongly make t