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TWO Southend Labour councillors want all councillors and civil servants to take a pledge that they will ‘never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women’.
Daniel Cowan and Matt Dent have submitted a motion about the issue to full council this Thursday, October 24.
The duo want councillors to assert that they ‘recognise the importance’ of White Ribbon UK – an organisation which works with men and boys in an effort to ‘challenge male cultures that lead to harassment, abuse and violence’.
Cllrs Cowan and Dent wrote in their motion: “Council notes that violence against women is a serious, prevalent and preventable issue in our society. Male violence against women must be ended, once and for all.
“Simply agreeing with the principle is not enough. As a responsible authority, we have a moral obligation to stand against and work to end male violence against women.”
The two councillors want elected members to unite behind a series of promises.
The first is that the council becomes a White Ribbon accredited authority.
The second is that the council makes White Ribbon Day, on November 25, ‘part of the civic calendar, with ambassador-led activities involving staff, members and the public’.
The third is that the council will raise awareness of the White Ribbon campaign through its ‘internal and external communications’.
The fourth is that, “council will provide support to staff and members to take the pledge never to commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women and to become ambassadors and champions.”
The fifth is that the council will ‘work closely’ with local groups that tackle male violence against women, and ‘work towards making Southend a White Ribbon borough’.
The sixth and final pledge is to ‘host annual awareness training’ for all councillors.
*The motion has been submitted ahead of this week’s full council meeting.
It will be automatically referred to cabinet, which will discuss it and make a decision. If councillors are unhappy with the decision, they can call it to scrutiny.