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Humanitarian Call to Action and Acceptance

19 November 2015

In response the attacks this past week in Beirut, Paris, and Nigeria, WILPF US has issued a statement.


“You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.” These are the words of WILPF member Jeannette Rankin from Montana, the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress and the only person in the Congress who voted against U.S. entrance to both WWI and II. WILPF US takes this analogy one step further. We may not be able to stop an earthquake, but we can stave off the causes of these human earthquakes. We can and we must!

This week’s earth-shattering terrorist attacks in Paris, in Beirut and by the Boko Haram in Nigeria added to the continuing brutality of the Syrian civil war with its floods of refugees are bringing to us the greatest threat of all – fear.

The success of extremists of all sorts is to build fear by tearing down our trust and belief in one another … fearful to reach out to our neighbours and to cross over the man-made borders, we perpetuate their terror.  Fifty-nine-and-one-half (59.5) million people were displaced by conflict over the last decade, a 60 percent increase, and have sought refuge and aid from those who hold out their hands. To destroy those connections, those altruistic principles on which a democracy is built, is the insidious legacy of terrorism; the transformation into a culture which echoes the Japanese Internment camps during WWII.

At this moment, there are 31 states that are closing down the acceptance of Syrian refugees, who are mostly women and children. WILPF US must reach out to the peoples of those states as well as their leaders, to say that in our land of “Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses Yearning to be Free” we will not allow bigotry and fear to punish those who need refuge. These refugees are fleeing ISIS and denying them entry will serve the purposes of ISIS, which would like them to be returned to where they are more easily massacred by that organisation.

We call on our members to write or call those state governments for the humane treatment of people needing our helping hand. We can take our protest to the streets and in the front of the capitol buildings as well. On a more global scale, we can protest to the UN High Commissioner of Refugees, António Guterres and Ban Ki-Moon who is preparing for the first World Humanitarian Summit 2016, UN’s first humanitarian conference in 2016. Start by being humanitarians now!

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WILPF Afghanistan

In response to the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban and its targeted attacks on civil society members, WILPF Afghanistan issued several statements calling on the international community to stand in solidarity with Afghan people and ensure that their rights be upheld, including access to aid. The Section also published 100 Untold Stories of War and Peace, a compilation of true stories that highlight the effects of war and militarisation on the region. 

IPB Congress Barcelona

WILPF Germany (+Young WILPF network), WILPF Spain and MENA Regional Representative

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Demilitarisation

WILPF uses feminist analysis to argue that militarisation is a counter-productive and ill-conceived response to establishing security in the world. The more society becomes militarised, the more violence and injustice are likely to grow locally and worldwide.

Sixteen states are believed to have supplied weapons to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2020 with the US supplying 74 % of weapons, followed by Russia. Much of this equipment was left behind by the US military and is being used to inflate Taliban’s arsenal. WILPF is calling for better oversight on arms movement, for compensating affected Afghan people and for an end to all militarised systems.

Militarised masculinity

Mobilising men and boys around feminist peace has been one way of deconstructing and redefining masculinities. WILPF shares a feminist analysis on the links between militarism, masculinities, peace and security. We explore opportunities for strengthening activists’ action to build equal partnerships among women and men for gender equality.

WILPF has been working on challenging the prevailing notion of masculinity based on men’s physical and social superiority to, and dominance of, women in Afghanistan. It recognizes that these notions are not representative of all Afghan men, contrary to the publicly prevailing notion.

Feminist peace​

In WILPF’s view, any process towards establishing peace that has not been partly designed by women remains deficient. Beyond bringing perspectives that encapsulate the views of half of the society and unlike the men only designed processes, women’s true and meaningful participation allows the situation to improve.

In Afghanistan, WILPF has been demanding that women occupy the front seats at the negotiating tables. The experience of the past 20 has shown that women’s presence produces more sustainable solutions when they are empowered and enabled to play a role.

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