Five Days That Will Shake the World: WILPF Joins U.S. Social Forum

Gillian Gilhool and Mary Zepernick confer at the U.S. Social Forum in 2007

This June, WILPF members will join thousands of activists to make the slogan “Another World is Possible” come to life. The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom is on the official program and our members Edith Bell and Odile Hugonot Haber are also involved in additional workshops.

This gigantic, grassroots forum will address the key issues WILPFers work on, so it is a good place to make connections, spread WILPF’s name, and have an impact. Members can register at the official U.S. Social Forum website or if you want to use WILPF’s official registration password, contact carol.disarm(at)

There is a space on the registration form to indicate your organizational affiliation; write in WILPF and it will help us coordinate getting together in Detroit.

Statement for the Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Jane Addams’s Birth

Statement for the Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Jane Addams’s Birth and the Tenth Anniversary of the Adoption of United Nations Security Resolution 1325

By Harriet Alonso and Louise W. Knight

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt of the statement prepared by Alonso and Knight

Addams was particularly concerned about the violence women experienced in times of war and the need for women to participate fully in international peace-making efforts – the two main subjects 1325 addresses. As Addams stated in The Second Twenty Years of Hull-House about her thinking before World War I, “I believed that peace was not merely an absence of war, but the nurture of human life, and that in time this nurture would do away with war as a natural process.”1

The long road to SCR 1325 began soon after World War I erupted in Europe. In April 1915, Addams and other women from Europe and beyond (1,100 delegates in all), came together at an international congress of women at The Hague, The Netherlands. The meeting had been called by a small group of European suffragists to give women from the warring and neutral nations a way to express their horror at the fighting, set out their preferred peace terms, endorse suffrage, and seek a way to end the war quickly. Addams, widely respected as the American leader of the settlement house movement and a leading activist in progressive reforms, including women’s suffrage and peace, presided over the meeting, and was elected president of the resulting organization, the International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace.


Invitation to participate in the WILPF delegation to the Commission on the Status of Women- February/ March 2010Beijing Wheel of e words


Dear WILPFers,

The WILPF-UN Office (UNO) in New York welcomes WILPF members to come to New York City to participate in the forthcoming United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which will take place 1-12 March 2010. 

This CSW will be undertaking a fifteen-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, together with the outcomes of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly.   Participants will emphasize the sharing of good practices and experiences, and seek ways of overcoming the obstacles and challenges that remain. Attention will also be given to the Millennium Development Goals.  Member States, representatives of non-governmental organizations and of UN entities will participate in the session. A series of parallel events will provide additional opportunities for information exchange and networking. The General Assembly is expected to mark the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in a commemorative meeting during CSW.   



Playing chess with corporations

 “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

On August 1st WILPF joined the Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy, Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County, Shays 2: The Western Massachusetts Committee on Corporations & Democracy, and the Clements Foundation in a friend of the court brief to the U.S. Supreme Court.  

The brief, drafted and filed by attorney Jeff Clements in the case of Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission, represented all five organizations in urging the Supreme Court not to overturn laws preventing corporations from making political contributions in federal elections.

“The notion that corporations have the same speech rights as people under our Bill of Rights is contrary to the words, history, spirit and intent of our Constitution,” said attorney Jeff Clements. “The organizations that joined to bring these arguments to the Court have worked with others for many years to empower democratic self-government. They remind us that corporations do not vote, speak, or act as people do, but are products of government policy to achieve economic and charitable ends. As such, corporations need not be allowed to influence our elections if Congress and state governments judge that such influence is detrimental to democracy.”

Tell Us What You Think - WILPF Member Survey

Dear WILPF Members,

The past few months have been a time of transition and change for everyone, and especially for WILPF.  We would like to take some time to better understand these changes and their impact on WILPF.  We ask that you help us in doing so by taking a few minutes out of your day to complete this thirty-four-question survey. It is important to us to evaluate our relationship with our membership so that we as an organization may grow through your suggestions, experiences and voices.

WILPF’s International Board Plans 2010 Meeting in India

WILPF’s International Board Plans 2010 Meeting in India
(Information on individual registration will be circulated to U.S. Section members when it is available.)

Preparations are underway for the next International Board (IB) Meeting of WILPF, scheduled to take place from 4 – 10 January 2010, at the Gandhi University (Gujarat Vidyapith) in Ahemedabad, India.
The Gandhi University has kindly agreed to host us for this meeting. The main campus of Gujarat Vidyapith is located on the Ashram Road, Ahmedabad. Spread over 21 acres of land, the main campus is known as "The Mahatma Gandhi Parisar".  More information about the university can be found at 

Take the Profit out of Health Insurance

“Measures to prevent ill health and disease are as important as the availability of appropriate medical treatment and care. It is therefore essential to take a holistic approach to health, whereby both prevention and care are placed within the context of environmental policy...."

Local Branch Activities

May, 2009: Spotlight on Santa Cruz, CA.

Developing WILPF’s Legislative Priorities at the Local Level

By Jan Harwood

Rescue Democracy, Curb Corporations committee:

Six Santa Cruz WILPF members attended a Democracy School training conducted by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) in May, 2008 and formed the  branch's Corporation vs Democracy Committee the next month.  After study and discussion, the group focused on two activities.

The first was to work with the existing Light-Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) and Californians Against the Spray groups in Santa Cruz, to develop an ordinance that will prevent any government entity or corporation from spraying any toxic substance in Santa Cruz without the express permission of the people of Santa Cruz.  The ordinance is in its final editing and will be presented to the Santa Cruz City Council after further community organizing for support.

The second activity was to develop a schedule of events to educate the public about the undue power of corporations over our lives, our health, our education and our government, with the goal of training people to take action to restore democracy.  The series is called “Restore Democracy: Curb Corporate Power.”  To date, there have been five events in this series:  Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine, speaking about the bail-out of Wall Street; the CELDF trainers holding a public meeting on the spray ordinance; and David Dilworth of Helping Our Peninsula’s Environment (HOPE) explaining how to revoke the charters of corporations which do public harm.  In December  showed the film Are Corporations People? and  Jim Mosher of Felton Flow described how their community fought and won back their water rights against a mega-corporation.

The series continued with a public talk and trainng earlier this month featuring David Cobb / Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap of Democracy Unlimited Humboldt County (DUHC). The goal of the training was the formation of issue coalitions to develop actions in the Bay Area to assert the peoples’ rights against corporate power. We expect to continue with educational events, skill training and community actions."

January 11, 2009 - Guantanamo Bay Anniversary - Fast for Justice - 100 Days Vigil

WILPF US Section Has Endorsed the 100 Days Campaign 

*Why a 100 Days Campaign?*
Ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt became President in 1933, setting a new standard for action and imagination in his first 100 days in office, the
American people have watched closely the first 100 days of all new presidents. Numerous pundits have pointed out that-- not unlike FDR--
Barack Obama will enter the White House as the nation faces many crises.

*Obama's Promise*
In FDR's day, the promise was a "New Deal." Today, Obama is promising change. Some are very specific: Recently, for example, Obama told /60
Minutes/: "I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that. I've said repeatedly that America
doesn't torture. And I'm going to make sure that we don't torture."

*100 Days More is 100 Days Too Long *
After seven years of detaining hundreds of men without trial, 100 days more is 100 days too long. We go to Washington with high hopes that
President Obama will close Guantanamo on his first day in office. But if he does not, we will stand vigil for 100 days as a reminder of his
promise, and a reminder of those seven years of torture and indefinite detention carried out in our names.

Practicum in Advocacy at the United Nations 2011

The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) and the Center for Women's Health and Human Rights at Suffolk University (CWHHR) are offering the opportunity for college students to attend the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meetings at the United Nations in New York from February 19 – 26, 2011.

Click here to read Rebecca Joy Norlander's blog from the 2011 CSW Practicum at the UN in New York City.





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