Methodist Women in Britain (MWiB) supports the ‘Thursdays in Black’ campaign, as we believe we have a responsibility to speak out against violence, to ensure that women and men, boys and girls, are safe from rape and violence in homes, schools, work, streets – in all places in our societies.

The campaign first began when the World Council of Churches, during their Decade of ‘Churches’ in solidarity with Women’ (1988-1998) when they heard stories of rape and violence against women, particularly when rape was used as a weapon of war, gender injustice, abuse, violence, and the many tragedies that ensued. Examples of women’s resilience began to emerge and the campaign was influenced by ‘The Mothers of the Disappeared’ in Buenos Aires, Argentina who on Thursdays protested at the Plaza de Mayo, against the disappearance of their children during the violent dictatorship. Women in Israel and Palestine wore black in protest against war and violence and the Black Sash movement in South Africa protested against apartheid and its use of violence against black people.

Statistics from UN Women and UNICEF show that gender-based violence is a tragic reality in every country. One in three women today experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse from their partners and globally, more than eight out of ten girls experience street harassment before they are 17. 70 percent of trafficking victims are women and girls, and one in four children under the age of five lives in a home where there is domestic violence.

By encouraging the wearing of black on Thursdays, we hope to raise awareness of these issues but, to create an impact, we would like more people to wear black and to wear the ‘Thursdays in Black’ badges. MWiB, have had T-shirts printed and they can be obtained from: https://imprintstaunton.co.uk/ 

Badges can be ordered from the Resource section of the MWiB website:    mwib.org.uk

If you would like to join us in our silent protest, please consider wearing something black on a Thursday, put your photo on Facebook/Twitter/ Instagram and encourage your friends and family to do the same, toshow that we stand:

‘In silent protest and in solidarity with women facing rape, abuse, torture, violence. Show you care! As women have a right to be safe and free.’

Ruth Parrott – MWiB President