Thursdays in Black: Localized Responses to Rape Culture and Gender Violence in Aotearoa New Zealand
In this chapter, feminist historian Harriet Winn traces the origins and development of Thursdays in Black, a grassroots activist movement to combat global gender violence, which was developed by the World Council of Churches in the 1980s. Revived in 2015 as a student-led group campaigning against campus rape, Thursdays in Black NZ has become a timely response to the urgent crisis of sexual violence within Aotearoa New Zealand, utilizing prevention and awareness-raising methods to educate students about sexual violence and to tackle rape-supportive cultures that pervade university campus life. Winn outlines the religious origins of Thursdays in Black, before exploring its attempts to combat sexual violence within Aotearoa in contextually specific ways, particularly with regard to its commitment to feminist praxis and its adoption of mātauranga Māori—Māori knowledge—as a core part of the movement’s identity and philosophy.
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