Council demands answers from White Ribbon

Friday 9 November 2018

Inner West Council is seeking a commitment from the White Ribbon Foundation Australia that they will maintain their support of women’s reproductive rights, or it will withdraw support and funding from White Ribbon events in the Inner West.

Council’s call follows White Ribbon’s removal of their statement in support of reproductive rights from its website in order to allow them to ‘consult with their stakeholders’ about their support.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said that it was inexplicable for an organisation that championed women’s rights and women’s safety, to step away from reproductive freedom.

“As someone who has established a strong partnership with White Ribbon I am shocked by this,” he said.

“Eliminating violence against women depends on expanding women’s rights to control their own bodies, not walking away from the cause.

“Council is definitely reviewing our relationship with White Ribbon.”

The reproductive freedom position was first posted on the White Ribbon site in February 2017.

Its opening line reads that “White Ribbon Australia believes that all women should have complete control over their reproductive and sexual health.”

White Ribbon’s removal of their support for reproductive rights followed the recent passage of legislation through the Queensland Parliament decriminalising abortion.

Following immense public backlash the statement was reinstated.

“Council needs to reconsider its relationship with White Ribbon in light of their recent backflip,” said Mayor Byrne.

“Why should an organisation supposedly devoted to protecting women’s rights need to ‘consult with stakeholders about whether should, in fact, support women’s rights?”

At the Council meeting of 28 March 2017 Council resolved to provide $18,000 annually for White Ribbon Day.

The 2018 event will take place on 21 November at the Addison Road Community Centre, but Council will focus on the promotion of the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism to prevent violence.

For further information, please contact Kate Walsh on 9392 5685 or                          

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Page last updated: 09 Nov 2018