WILPF Advocacy Documents

Africa, Madagascar

Letter to UPR on Human Rights Situation

Human Rights
Date/month:
10 June 2010
Document type:
Open letter, Statement
Body submitted to:

10 June 2010

Dear Chairperson,

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom would like to take this opportunity to raise our concerns with the progress of the objective of the Universal Periodic Review 2010 to improve the human rights situation.

We question, what effect the UPR process of Madagascar has had on improving the situation of human rights on the ground and minimising the risk for the people of Madagascar. In spite of the UPRs strong recommendations to address serious documented violations, we are concerned at the Government of Madagascar’s absence of response to the recommendation to release all political prisoners, as well as their refusal to open a credible and independent process for investigating the deaths and the events surrounding the March 2009 military coup.

Within the Universal Periodic Review we are concerned at the lack of attention and recognition paid to the events of the 26 January and 7 February 2009, when, according to reports, up to 130 people died as a result of serous unrest and conflict. We call for the international community to recommend an independent, impartial separate investigation into these events.

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom are deeply concerned at the testimonies of human rights abuses by such victims of torture as Naika Eliane, Ihanta Andramandranto, Noro Rabemanajara and Razafinjoany Sandra. These cases have been widely documented including by Amnesty International.

Since the UPR in February, reports show there have been no changes to the human rights situation in Madagascar. Violence and arrests continue but under different guises and rationales. We have received reports of the imprisonment (of men, women and children), restrictions of freedom of expression, forced oppression of the media and political opposition, ill treatment of prisoners including torture, abuse of force by police and other security forces, forced exile and executions. This includes the recent arrest of journalist Josiane Ranaivo.

We are deeply concerned at Madagascar’s failure to comply with international conventions, such as the Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, their violation of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and their failure to recognize the Rome Statute and to implement the Maputo Agreement.

We ask the international community, to ensure that the Universal Periodic review process, in the case of Madagascar and in all cases, be an effective mechanism for implementation of human rights in countries under review.

Thank you Mr. President.

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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