White Ribbon Day

White Ribbon Day (Thursday 25 November) – and the 16 days to end violence against women that follow, saw many people in their communities, organisations and workplaces coming together, and saying “No” to violence against women.

Ulster University Wo/Men’s Network showed its support of White Ribbon Day and the Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland by signing the White Ribbon Pledge to share the message that men’s violence against women and girls must end. As part of the pledge, people, especially men, are encouraged wear a White Ribbon and make the Promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.

Representatives from the University’s Wo/Men’s Network, as well as People and Culture, UU Students’ Union, The Confucius Institute and international students were in attendance to see the White Ribbon Pledge being signed, which was led by Professor Malachy Ó Néill, Director of Regional Engagement and Wo/men’s Network Champion Karan Green, Co-Chair of the Wo/men’s Network, who shared some shocking statistics on domestic violence from the Women’s Aid Federation NI Annual Report 2019/20. These included:

  • The PSNI recorded 31,817 domestic abuse incidents and 18,640 domestic abuse crimes. Both of these figures represent the highest figures logged since records began in 2004/05
  • Police responded to a domestic incident every 17minutes of every day
  • Domestic violence crime accounted for 5% of all crime reported to the PSNI.

A similar White Ribbon Day pledge signing was held on the Magee campus.

Sarah Smyth, Wo/Men’s Network Steering Group member says:

“At Ulster University, we are committed to standing to say no to violence against women and girls for White Ribbon Day 2021. As we move towards the end of the year, we want as many men and women at Ulster University as possible to show their support of this campaign and make the White Ribbon Promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.

Professor Malachy Ó Néill, Director of Regional Engagement, says:

“I am delighted to support the work of the Ulster University Wo/men’s Network in this important initiative and in their programme more broadly.


This is an opportunity for us all to consider the way in which we engage with colleagues, and to align our mannerisms and behaviours with the personal and professional values we share. We all have a part to play to ensure that Ulster University is a wonderful and safe place to work.”

Damian McAlister, Chief People Officer, added:

“At Ulster University, two of our key values include ‘Inclusion’ and ‘Integrity’ and we want to promote a place where our staff and students feel supported and safe, and to provide an environment for people to challenge when something is wrong. On White Ribbon Day, we are inviting you to wear a white ribbon, and support its mission to end male violence against women, once and for all.”

#AllMenCan is the campaign’s 2021 leading message:

This year’s message has been developed in response to the murder of Sarah Everard which brought women’s experience of men’s violence to the forefront of everyone’s minds. It also opened up so many conversations about men taking action and making a stand. And that all men can make a difference.

Wear a White Ribbon:

The easiest way to show your support for the White Ribbon appeal is to wear a white ribbon and make the Promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.

Wearing a white ribbon is a great way to start a conversation about the pledge and the importance of men standing up and taking responsibility in ending male violence against women.

Sign an individual pledge:

You are invited to sign your individual pledge online at www.whiteribbon.org.uk/promise

Support White Ribbon Day on social media:

Don’t forget to show your support on social media by using #WhiteRibbon, #UUWomensNetwork, #AllMenCan or #MakeThePromise

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women: 

White Ribbon Day this year coincided with the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November. You can read more on the UN website.

16 days of action:

Ulster University is planning to gain White Ribbon Accreditation in time for next year’s White Ribbon Day event. Further information will be made available to staff on plans for future events.

The Wo/men’s Network is supporting the Women’s Aid Federation NI as part of our Christmas campaign. This year we are unable to organise a collection for toys for children on campus, so staff are being encouraged to donate at www.womensaidni.org/support-us/donate

Photo gallery:

View the photo gallery of White Ribbon Day at Ulster University.