Prevent men’s violence against women

Archive for July, 2019

Culture and religion in shaping attitudes to parenthood and equality

Kuranda Seyit Fatherhood Program Reference group | Ambassador | Parenting | Diversity

In addition to his involvement with White Ribbon Australia, Kuranda Seyit has done significant work in the diversity sector and for Australia’s Muslim community. White Ribbon ensures that diversity and inclusion are fundamental to our prevention programs. It’s important for us to acknowledge voices such as Kuranda’s, which provide valuable insight into parenting and respectful relationships within Australia’s Islamic community.

While these parenting guidelines have been written from an Islamic perspective, this information can be useful to anyone who has the responsibility of raising a child.

What is your involvement in White Ribbon Australia?
My name is Kuranda Seyit. I am the father of two boys, a White Ribbon Australia Ambassador and member of the White Ribbon Australia Fatherhood Reference Group. Recently I helped compile a parenting program for Muslim communities.

What has shaped your attitudes and approach to parenthood?
My culture and religion play an important role in my approach to raising my two boys. Much of our information about Islamic perspectives to fatherhood come directly from the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. We have information about how he lived and his family background. We also have a large body of documentation about his life’s sayings, his advice and his recorded actions as verified by his closest followers. The Prophet was first and foremost a family man. He was a leader of a nation, a statesman and a spiritual guide for thousands, but just as importantly he was a husband and a loving father. :Regardless of a person’s own culture or religion some of Islamic philosophies towards parenting can be of interest and benefit to anyone with responsibilities for raising children.

What would be your top five things you have learned as a father?
Children are born pure and innocent, their natural inclination or disposition is to be good.
Parents play a critical role in the nurturing and developing of healthy and functional children into adulthood. It is only through a child’s upbringing and exposure to behaviours that are modelled by the people around them that they learn negative behaviours.
Therefore, as parents we must be extremely consistent and careful in the way we model behaviour. If there is a problem then don’t look for the cause within the child but instead look at how you can change their environment.

Parents are guides and role models.
Children need a safe, stable and nurturing home and community to grow. Maintaining a good environment also includes giving thought and consideration to the types of people that might surround and influence them.

The essentials of upbringing are kindness and mercy.
We know that childhood play benefits the physical, emotional, cognitive and social development of a child. We also know how important physical touch such as cuddles are for infants in order to make them feel safe and loved. Physical affection and play should continue as a child grows, of course, this might change as your child gets older, but it should never stop.
When your child gets up to mischief, don’t scold or blame, instead hug or pat them reassuringly and say, ‘I forgive you, let’s fix it!’ Then explain their mistake and suggest a way to resolve it together.

Draw the line for your children, set boundaries.
Without boundaries, society would be in chaos. Children need clear boundaries to guide their behaviour, while allowing them the freedom to act and behave within them. Set rules and limits for everyone in the family (including yourself!) and take care to explain to your child why they must obey them. Children love logical reasoning, but make it simple.

Small responsibilities allow the small shoulder to make it big!
Being responsible teaches children to be independent, reliable and productive. It makes them feel they have a role in the family and society and develop a sense of belonging. Having a feeling of purpose can prevent children from misbehaving out of frustration and uselessness. It also helps us to teach children about the consequences of their actions and preparing them for the responsibility of adulthood.  Start young, find age appropriate jobs for your preschool age children and gradually increase their responsibilities over the childhood years, adding more as the child slowly heads towards maturity.

Visit here for more information on White Ribbon’s Fatherhood program.


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Youth Ambassadors Response to NCAS Youth Report: More to be Done

Ambassador Response to NCAS Youth Report | White Ribbon Australia

ANROWS recently released their ‘National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS)’ Youth Report which showed a significant improvement in young Australians’ attitudes to violence against women, since the 2013 survey. However, there are some disturbing key findings which showcased misunderstandings regarding gender equality and willingness to act when witnessing sexism and abuse[1].

We asked two of our youth Ambassadors, Fadi Aluboodi and Michael Tran, their own thoughts on youth attitudes to violence against women reflecting on the NCAS Youth Report.

1 in 3 Youth Survey | White Ribbon AustraliaQ: As White Ribbon Ambassadors, one of your primary roles is to engage with your peers to ensure more men understand the issue of men’s violence against women. In terms of awareness about the issue, what are your thoughts on the findings in the report? 

A: We think that awareness of the issue has gotten better. The issue of violence against women has been communicated more through primary prevention initiatives, news, and social media to educate youth and the general public about what is acceptable and not acceptable in an intimate relationship, as well as the importance of gender equality and maintaining respectful relationships.

Overall, the report shows that young Australians have an improved level of knowledge of the different forms that violence against women can take, than reported in 2013[2]. This indicates that Australia is on the right path towards eliminating the common attitudes and trends influencing violence against women.

We were surprised to read though that nearly one in four young people disagree that violence against women is common.  There also appears to be low awareness that controlling behaviours are a form of violence and abuse. Less than 80% among males recognise technological and financial control of the partner as forms of violence against women. One out of ten young men do not think stalking is a form of violence against women and 14% of young men do not understand that harassment by repeated emails and/or text messages is domestic violence[3].

Based on these findings, we believe that there is still a lot that needs to be done in order to eliminate domestic violence, promote gender equality and foster respectful relationships.

Q: The report showed that young men are three times more likely than young women to not be bothered if a male friend told a sexist joke[4]. Knowing how attitudes that undermine gender equality can contribute to a culture that excuses violence against women, how would you react if you heard a friend crack a sexist joke?

A: There are multiple ways in which we could approach this. Depending on the scenario, we’d pull our friend over and say something like “mate, what you said there was sexist, I’m sure you wouldn’t like it if someone said that about your mother/sister/daughter”.

Changing and challenging the stereotypes surrounding sexist jokes all starts with simple conversations. If one conversation can change the heart and mind of one individual, imagine how far society could go if we were all more conscious about the conversations we have and if we were more proactive in challenging the norms surrounding the attitudes of men towards producing sexist jokes.

Q: What would you say to other young people who are interested in getting involved in the prevention of men’s violence against women?

A: We encourage young people to get active in their communities and social groups in spreading the white ribbon message. Young people should challenge existing stereotypes, stigmas and social norms that underlie violence against women. Start a white ribbon action group, organise events and mobilise in local communities to raise awareness. Because every single conversation had, every person who joins the movement and every life saved contributes towards creating a domestic violence free future for all.


Respondents Fadi Aluboodi and Michael Tran are both White Ribbon Ambassadors engaging young people in the White Ribbon movement. Learn more about our youth engagement program.

[1] ANROWS (2019), Young Australians’ attitudes to violence against women and gender equality: Findings from the 2017 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS), (ANROWS Insights, Issue 01/2019). Sydney
[2] Ibid. p18
[3] Ibid. p19
[4] Ibid. p33

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White Ribbon Australia appoints Tony Pearson as its new Chair

chair-Tony Pearson-white ribbon australia

Monday, 1 July 2019White Ribbon Australia has today announced the appointment of Tony Pearson as its new Chair. Mr Pearson will succeed John Rosewarne, who is retiring from the board later this year. Mr Pearson paid tribute to Mr Rosewarne and to White Ribbon’s mission.

“As the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end men’s violence against women, White Ribbon has an important role to play in highlighting the responsibility that men have in reducing the levels of domestic violence in our society, achieving gender equality, and promoting healthy and respectful relationships.

“I would also like to acknowledge the dedicated service of John Rosewarne, and his leadership of White Ribbon over his eight years on the Board.”

Mr Pearson will lead the next phase of White Ribbon’s evolution, with an immediate focus on developing the organisation’s new three year strategy, and governance renewal.

“Over the coming months, we will reflect on our mission — critically evaluating all aspects of what we do and how we do it. We will also look to develop closer relationships with key stakeholders — government, other sector organisations, corporate partners, and grass roots communities — to ensure that White Ribbon’s mission continues to be relevant and effective, and is achieved in collaboration with the many dedicated organisations and people that work in this space.”

Mr Rosewarne commented: “I’m incredibly pleased to see someone with the experience and expertise of Tony Pearson taking on the role of White Ribbon Chair. His credentials will bring new thinking and energy to White Ribbon’s next phase.”

Delia Donovan, White Ribbon’s CEO, commented: “We’re delighted to welcome a person of Tony Pearson’s calibre to the Chair role. His appointment brings experienced leadership to White Ribbon, strengthening our governance and our commitment to change.”

Mr Pearson is currently a Trustee of the Royal Botanic Garden & Domain Trust, a Commissioner at the Independent Planning Commission, and a non-executive director of Cellnet and Peak Resources. Prior to these non-executive appointments, Mr Pearson was a Managing Director at HSBC.

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