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Thursdays in Black

The Thursdays in Black Campaign Churches’ Advocacy against Sexual, Gender-Based Violence

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.

Thursdays in Black: Resistance and Resilience
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.

What is the Thursdays in Black Campaign?

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.

Join this movement of people and organizations that can make a difference to individuals, communities, and national and international policy forums.

Be inspired by others helping to lead the movement: in South Africa or www.thursdaysinblack.com and in New Zealand – Aotearoa. Read more about WCC's Just Community of Women and Men.

Share your Thursdays in Black campaign photos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, using hashtags #ThursdaysinBlack and #WCC !

Campaign Resources

Feel free to download and print your own campaign materials:

Thursdays in Black flyers: regular pdf or version for printing (with crop-marks)

Thursdays in Black badges with WCC logo, print-ready pdf file with crop-marks

Thursdays in Black badges (generic), print-ready pdf file with crop-marks.

Artwork for t-shirt or cloth bag with WCC logo and without WCC logo (PDF for screen printing on black bag or t-shirt - see sample)

Poster (A3 and 11x17in) and Roll-up banner for offices and events (InDesign files to add your logo available)

Adobe Illustrator files are  available for adapting to different languages or adding an organizational logo. Please email media@wcc-coe.org with your request.

For more information on the campaign contact: media@wcc-coe.org.

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A warm welcome with cheers and high expectations awaited WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit when he touched down in Kingston earlier this week. The Jamaican capital was the first stop of a 10-day tour in the Caribbean.

Thursdays in Black rally renews determination to strive for justice

Thursdays in Black rally renews determination to strive for justice

During an open air common prayer event held in Nelson Mandela Park in Kingston, Jamaica on 4 October, women and men processed and sang, most of them dressed in black as they renewed and expanded their commitment to the Thursdays in Black campaign seeking a world free from rape and violence.

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Linette Vassel has been associated with the struggle for women’s rights in the Caribbean since the 1970s. She was the first coordinator of the Committee of Women for Progress, an activist organisation formed in 1976 which was among the pioneering organisations for the struggle for maternity leave with pay for women.