World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / Get involved / Thursdays in Black

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 !

Resources

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

Thursdays in Black badges: print-ready pdf (with crop-marks)

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

Related News

Join in “pilgrim prayers” for women overcoming violence

Join in “pilgrim prayers” for women overcoming violence

People across the world will have an opportunity to join in a special prayer for women who are standing strong in the face of gender-based violence. Each Thursday, beginning 31 May, the World Council of Churches (WCC) will release via its website and social media a prayer shared by members of “Pilgrim Teams” who have been visiting communities in conflict, and hearing the stories of women who are facing sexual harassment, rape, domestic violence and other injustices.

When you have nothing, you give your heart

When you have nothing, you give your heart

If the human spirit and likeness of God's will for peace with justice for all people is alive in the world, the pilgrim team that visited South Sudan this week has witnessed it. From 5-9 May, a World Council of Churches “Pilgrim Team” visited South Sudan under the theme “African Women of Faith and Gender Justice.” The delegation was hosted by the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC).

Pan-African women demand end to gun violence in USA

Pan-African women demand end to gun violence in USA

In a “Holy Week Statement of Lament and Solidarity” for Maundy Thursday, the Pan African Women’s Ecumenical Empowerment Network demanded an end to gun violence in America. The statement, developed for use in prayer on Maundy Thursday as well as other Holy Week liturgy, decries the response to gun violence against children in the USA as “scarce and insufficient.”