Why do I wear black on Thursdays? I wear black to support and to bring awareness to global gender based violence that has been taking place far too long.
Thursdays in Black grew out of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women (1988-1998), in which the stories of rape as a weapon of war, gender injustice, abuse, violence, and many tragedies that grow outward from such violence became all the more visible. But what also became visible was women’s resilience, agency and personal efforts to resist such violations.
The campaign was inspired 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.
- The Women in Black in Israel and Palestine, who up to now protest against war and violence.
- Women in Rwanda and Bosnia who were protesting against the use of rape as a weapon of war during the genocide.
- Black Sash movement in South Africa protesting against apartheid and its use of violence against black people.
In every country, gender-based violence is a tragic reality. This violence is frequently hidden, and victims are often silent, fearing stigma and further violence.
We all 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 is simple but profound. Wear black on Thursdays. Wear a pin to declare you are part of the global movement resisting attitudes and practices that permit rape and violence. Show your respect for women who are resilient in the face of injustice and violence. Encourage others to join you.
Often black has been used with negative racial connotations. In this campaign Black is used as a color of resistance and resilience.
Become a Thursdays in Black Ambassador by wearing black on Thursdays. Contact Sister Dottie for your Thursdays in Black Button to wear – firstname.lastname@example.org Post your picture on Facebook, Instagram or twitter using hashtags #ThursdaysinBlack and #WCC!