As we gradually draw the curtains in 2018, we need to pause and reflect on how this year has been one of change as we broadened and deepened our movement.

We have had opportunities to dialogue and reflect on what feminist peace means to us as individuals and as a movement. We are steadily expanding our space for more inclusive and robust participation, leading the change process in what we seek to see in the world. Our movement is a microcosm of the global world, and we have a shared responsibility in ensuring that we have a movement that is representative of what we seek.

Our founding mothers 103 years ago, understood that diversity is one of our strengths and worked to build this space that we now thrive in. We must be determined to call our privileges in all its manifestations within our movement so that we have the moral grounds to challenge its functionality in the larger society. We also need to be more tolerant of our differences and find strength in our diversity.

Last November, we launched our ”Towards a Feminist Security Council” Guidance Note. In this guide we concretely explained and showed what a Feminist Security Council would look like, we are thus lifting the bar in ensuring that feminist peace is entrenched at all levels. Early December, WILPF facilitated a dialogue of African Women Mediators from over fifteen countries. The focus of the dialogue was on women working in conflict-affected communities and how to bring and elevate their experience and expertise into mediation networks, from the national to the international. WILPF is gradually increasing its visibility in Africa on pushing for a feminist peace movement that recognises the importance of women at Tracks 1, 2 and 3 Peace processes.

The new year 2019, is another opportunity for us to deepen our interventions and I invite everyone to come on board this train of change. It is obvious that the world can not be sustained on the current patriarchal and military realities. We need to challenge militarism on all fronts and in all its different forms. We can not give up the struggle, rather we must invest in strategic ways of pushing through and dismantling patriarchal structures through our feminist peace agenda.

In Peace,

Joy Onyesoh