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.
Thursdays in Black is a campaign of solidarity and advocacy focusing on ways through which individuals can challenge attitudes that cause rape and violence. The simple act of wearing black on Thursdays is a protest against societies that encourage violence in any form, mourns those harmed and killed in sexual violence, raises awareness, and hopes that a different reality is possible.
"Every Thursday, people around the world wear black as a symbol of strength and courage, representing our solidarity with victims and survivors of violence, and calling for a world without rape and violence." - Thursdays in Black
The campaign is not confined only to countries at war, but recognizes that violence takes many forms, including domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, incest, murder, female infanticide, genital mutilation, sexual harassment, discrimination and sex trafficking.
Christian Aid works with Rev Phumzile Mabizela from South Africa. She encourages many communities and churches to engage with ‘Thursdays in Black’. She recognises that tackling harmful theology is important if the world is to be changed. She speaks very strongly about how genuine faith is distorted when is it used to support any abuse of power between men and women.
'Most religious teachings have encouraged maintenance of traditional male and female roles...gender equality is critical to development. The empowerment of women transforms societies, as it unlocks the potential of half the world’s population.’
If you would like to read our full report on gender justice click here.