Edinburgh uni where Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh studied named Scotland's first 'White Ribbon' university
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Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt has become Scotland’s first university to achieve White Ribbon status in recognition of its commitment to address gender-based violence.
The White Ribbon Campaign is the largest male-led movement working to end violence against women and girls across the world. The University has been a champion of the charity since 2021 and has led many awareness-raising events.
To date, 129 members of the Heriot-Watt community have shown their support by pledging ‘never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women in all its forms’.
In acknowledgement of these activities, White Ribbon Scotland recently presented its award to Professor Mark Biggs, Vice-Principal and Provost at Heriot-Watt University and Executive Sponsor for the Heriot-Watt’s endeavours to eliminate gender-based violence.
Attending the ceremony were representatives from the Students’ Union, partners from Fearless Edinburgh, the Consent Collective and the Justisigns2 Project.
Professor Biggs said: “For me, being part of the White Ribbon Campaign in Scotland is an example of Heriot-Watt at its best; taking leadership in creating a fairer, safer, more equitable world.
“This is very public declaration of our intent as an institution, and crucial to making progress in this important space.”
Achieving White Ribbon status is an integral part of the University’s strategy and is typically awarded to areas, towns, universities, colleges, and other similar bodies that demonstrate a sustained commitment to end violence against women.
Davy Thompson, the Campaign Director for White Ribbon Scotland, in presenting the award to Heriot-Watt said: “White Ribbon Scotland is very pleased to recognise Heriot-Watt University as the first university in Scotland to achieve the award of White Ribbon Status.
“The award recognises the excellent work undertaken to address gender-based violence and to involve more men in addressing male violence against women in particular. We look forward to continuing to work with Professor Biggs and many others in the community that is Heriot-Watt University as their local White Ribbon Campaign progresses.”
With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt University’s list of famous alumni includes celebrated authors Muriel Spark and Irvine Welsh.