Men invited to get crafty for White Ribbon Day

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser
WA Country Health Service, Great Southern health promotion coordinator, Kade Sims.
Camera IconWA Country Health Service, Great Southern health promotion coordinator, Kade Sims. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Family and domestic violence will be in focus tomorrow on White Ribbon Day.

The rigidity of gender roles is an underlying reason for family and domestic violence, Albany Family and Domestic Violence Action Group chairman Kade Sims says.

To change these stereotypes, Mr Sims encourages local men to take part in a public crochet project that aims to prevent family and domestic violence.

Crochet works from three community workshops will be added to the White Ribbon Web, a fabric sculpture to be installed at the Albany Public Library tomorrow.

Co-ordinating the project will be local artist Steven Finch, who will teach men how to crochet and use the workshops for open discussions about gender-based violence and the important role men play in prevention.

“Men have the opportunity to shift the attitudes and beliefs that lead to violence against women and art provides a space for us all to speak with others about the change needed in our community,” Mr Finch said.

Mr Sims, a project participant and White Ribbon ambassador, said gender stereotypes and beliefs that supported rigid gender roles needed to be broken to end violence against women.

“Crochet is not an activity that we traditionally associate with men but that’s the whole point of the project,” he said.

“We need to redefine what it means to be a man so that there is not the power imbalance between men and women in public and private life.”

The web will be a sustainable hand-woven sculpture that will consist of three clusters, each representing a different aspect of family violence: heals, changes and works. The crochet workshops will be held from December 3-5.

The web will be displayed during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence campaign, which ends on December 10.

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