Words by Tess Becker
The fight for equality and equity for women is ongoing. In that fight, organizations like White Ribbon USA have worked to provide resources and coverage of women’s rights to equality.
The organization started in Canada and was founded by men who wanted to be allies to the feminist movement. That was around 30 years ago – and it has since gone international.
Founder and CEO of the USA branch, Veronika Mudra, started off advocating for her native Ukraine, then eventually started a White Ribbon in the US. She used her own experiences for inspiration in founding the US chapter.
Veronika said she fled Ukraine in 2014 to escape abuse, but found that there weren’t many options for her. Sadly, her child was taken back to Ukraine and she had to travel back to the country and petition the local parliament to fight for her rights and for her child.
“That's how I found the White Ribbon Campaign,” she says.
She thought being part of White Ribbon would afford her more opportunity because, unlike many gender advocacy groups, the organization was gender-balanced, harkening back to its founding.
“I joined this campaign first as a volunteer," she says. "Soon after, I started to manage White Ribbon Ukraine as a CEO and our nonprofit became one of the best in the country. Then I got permission from the main founders to run this campaign in the US.”
The main work they’ve been doing has been looking to reform outdated legislation. Veronika wanted to make stronger provisions for domestic violence survivors among refugees to offer more protection.
The organization has also been working on more local issues – like in California where some domestic violence cases aren’t offered a sense of urgency.
The primary goal of Veronika’s work and the work of White Ribbon by extension is to provide a safe place and ally for women across the world.