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White Ribbon Campaign 2022

CASWA's Call to Men


During 16 days, the international period of activism against gender-based violence and abuse which runs annually from 25th November to 10th December, alongside other activism, CASWA sought to include local men in the conversation by inviting them to take the White Ribbon pledge during the 2022 16 days.

White Ribbon Scotland is the Scottish branch of an international movement to involve men in addressing gender-based violence and abuse. It was formed in Canada in 1991 by a group of men in opposition to men’s violence and abuse against women in response to the murder of 14 women by a man at the École Polytechnique in Montreal, Canada which occurred in 1989. The movement recognises that the majority of men are not violent or abusive, but holds the position that all men have a role in ending it.

Responsibility is generally placed in women’s hands to end gender-based violence and abuse and conversations have historically centred around all the things women must do to keep themselves safe. There has been a lot of coverage of violence and abuse against women and girls in the news over the past couple of years and it is something we see and hear about locally every day through our work at CASWA. Our charity supports the calls for men to stand with women and girls to address gender-based violence and abuse and the White Ribbon movement recognises that men too have a role to play in addressing violence and abuse against women and they can and should take a stand.

CASWA extended an invitation in advance of 16 days to a number of local men and groups of men in the Caithness and Sutherland community to meet with them to have a conversation, raise awareness of gender-based violence and abuse and introduce them to the White Ribbon pledge. The response from local prominent men and groups of men within our communities was exceptionally positive. CASWA’s call to men was welcomed by our community and we met with many local men and groups of men to start the conversation. We used these conversations to raise awareness of the reality of gender-based violence and abuse and many men we spoke to were extremely shocked at the prevalence and struck by how little this issue is discussed and known about in society. We used the opportunity to have conversations to break down some of the mis-information that has circulated, particularly on social media, in recent years such as there being a ‘war on men’ and the idea that ‘feminists hate men’. These are messages that we were keen to address this directly as so often this mis-information blocks and disrupts important conversations.

During our conversations with local men, we explained to men that we spoke with that we know that the majority of men are not violent and abusive, but we also know that men must do more to tackle gender-based violence and abuse. We discussed the power and influence that men hold in society and the difference that could be made if more men took a stance and stood up against gender-based violence and abuse and explored the various, safe ways that they could do this. We highlighted that a first step to taking a stand was men responding to our invite to meet with us to listen to what we had to say, the second was taking the White Ribbon pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about men’s violence against women in all its forms. The local men we met with recognised the need for men to responsibility, address and respond to gender-based violence and abuse and be visible positive role models within their community.

It was great to work with White Ribbon Scotland on this project and bring it north to Caithness and Sutherland. CASWA would like to thank all the local men who responded to the invite to take a stand and take the White Ribbon pledge. Due to the positive response to this activism, CASWA continued to meet with local men beyond the 16 days of activism – this in itself is powerful as it emphasises the idea that activism and standing against gender-based violence goes beyond 16 days and requires attention and action every day.

Thank you to the following men/groups of men:

  • Iain Morrison – Dean of Student Experience, UHI
  • Cllr Ron Gunn
  • Cllr Matthew Reiss
  • Cllr Richard Gale
  • Simon Collier – Owner of Mr C’s Thurso / Vice Chair of Caithness Drug & Alcohol Forum / Chair of Thurso Pubwatch
  • Neon Waltz
  • Thurso Fire Station Crew
  • Ian – Owner of Messy Nessy Thurso
  • Young Spurs Football Club / Caithness 7s
  • Keith Moncur – Youth Development Officer – Highlife Highland
  • Iain Black – Flow North Yoga
  • Peter & James – Go Golspie
  • Students from UHI.
  • Listening Ear Caithness

Thank you also to the many individual men and young men from our community who responded to our call and took the pledge.

For more information about White Ribbon Scotland and the pledge, please visit: