Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister for Social Development and Employment
Hon Steve Chadwick
Minister for Women’s Affairs
26 November 2007 Media Statement
Quilt exhibition to mark White Ribbon Day
Minister of Social Development Ruth Dyson and Women’s Affairs Minister Steve Chadwick will tonight open a quilt exhibition exploring the impact of family violence.
The quilts, which have been made by more than 20 groups, were entries in a competition organised by the Human Rights Commission and the School of Education at the University of Waikato.
Ruth Dyson praised those who had used this medium to find the courage to speak out about violence in the home.
“These quilts are a powerful reminder and a testimony to the courage of what some of the women who have made them have experienced. Other quilt makers have not experienced violence but are using their creativity to protest against violence towards women.”
Women’s Affairs Minister Steve Chadwick says around 400,000 white ribbons are expected to be worn this week, which is a clear sign of how many New Zealanders are committed to eradicating domestic violence against women.
“Wearing a white ribbon this week, and getting involved in local white ribbon events like this exhibition, are immediate actions that everyone can take to show that violence against women is unacceptable and must stop.
“This quilt exhibition shows how art has been used as a powerful way of showing the impact of domestic violence on families. It’s up to all of us to challenge attitudes and behaviour that allow such violence to continue in our own communities.”
The quilts depict the hidden nature and complexity of family violence as well as the terrible physical and emotional scarring it causes, she said.
The exhibition’s showing at Parliament has been organised by the Family Violence Ministerial Team in association with the New Zealand Parliamentarians’ Group on Population and Development.
The exhibition has been touring New Zealand and was invited to Parliament to mark White Ribbon Day (25 November), the United Nations day when men wear a white ribbon to show they don’t tolerate or condone violence against women.
White Ribbon Day is one of the 16 days of Activism Against Gender Violence which run until 10 December.
The exhibition opens tonight at 5.30pm.