WILPF Advocacy Documents

International, Japan

Message In Remembrance Of 60th Year Of The U.S. Atomic Bombings Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki

Nuclear Weapons
8 August 2005
Document type:
Body submitted to:
International Peace Bureau

Dear citizens of Japan, venerable Hibakusha, victims of nuclear weapons testing and production, and all who are united in the commitment to peace and the total elimination of nuclear weapons:

The members of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) around the world in nearly 40 countries and on every continent send you our greetings of solidarity on the occasion of the solemn remembrance of the first, and only, war time use of nuclear weapons.  We share with you the urgency of our goal to abolish nuclear weapons from earth and space and to eradicate their threat forever. 

In remembrance of the nuclear horror witnessed 60 years ago, and to remind people of that shameful calamity and the years of suffering in the aftermath, WILPF members throughout the world join with others in their communities in public remembrance through silent vigils, demonstrations, shadow drawings, music and art, media programs, seminars, letters to the editors and many other ways of calling everyone in the world to join together so that there will never be another Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

Since the founding of the Women’s International League in 1915 at The Hague, 90 years ago, during the first World War, we have worked for non-violent means of ending conflict.  In the aftermath of World War II and in the founding of the United Nations our organization has year after year engaged in relentless work for total and universal nuclear disarmament,  and for the creation of a just and sustainable peace with respect for the rights of all living things.

Our fragile ecological systems are in danger of collapsing.  The planet can no longer endure the devastation and waste of war, preparing for war, and the violence of policies based on national security rather than on human and ecological security.

Women’s International League is represented at this 60th Year Remembrance and at the 2005 World Conference Against A and H Bombs by our Secretary General from Geneva, Ms. Susi Snyder.

Ms. Jean Verthein, teacher and WILPF Representative to the UN in New York, and Ms. Chris Henderson, peace activist from Australia, will also convey in person our official greetings of international solidarity.  Among other WILPF members present are Julia Johnstone and Annie Boanas, young women from Christchurch, Aotearoa/New Zealand, and members of our Japanese WILPF Section representing members of branches in Tokyo, Sendai, Chiba, Kanagawa, Kawagoe, Hiroshima, Ohita, Kyoto and Saitawa.

In peace, on behalf of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom,
Regina Birchem
International President

International Secretariat,
1 rue de Varembe
Case Postale 28
CH-1211Geneva 20, Switzerland
(+41 22) 919 7080

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Thank you!

Melissa Torres


Prior to being elected Vice-President, Melissa Torres was the WILPF US International Board Member from 2015 to 2018. Melissa joined WILPF in 2011 when she was selected as a Delegate to the Commission on the Status of Women as part of the WILPF US’ Practicum in Advocacy Programme at the United Nations, which she later led. She holds a PhD in Social Work and is a professor and Global Health Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine and research lead at BCM Anti-Human Trafficking Program. Of Mexican descent and a native of the US/Mexico border, Melissa is mostly concerned with the protection of displaced Latinxs in the Americas. Her work includes training, research, and service provision with the American Red Cross, the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Centre, and refugee resettlement programs in the U.S. Some of her goals as Vice-President are to highlight intersectionality and increase diversity by fostering inclusive spaces for mentorship and leadership. She also contributes to WILPF’s emerging work on the topic of displacement and migration.

Jamila Afghani


Jamila Afghani is the President of WILPF Afghanistan which she started in 2015. She is also an active member and founder of several organisations including the Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organisation (NECDO). Elected in 2018 as South Asia Regional Representative to WILPF’s International Board, WILPF benefits from Jamila’s work experience in education, migration, gender, including gender-based violence and democratic governance in post-conflict and transitional countries.

Sylvie Jacqueline Ndongmo


Sylvie Jacqueline NDONGMO is a human rights and peace leader with over 27 years experience including ten within WILPF. She has a multi-disciplinary background with a track record of multiple socio-economic development projects implemented to improve policies, practices and peace-oriented actions. Sylvie is the founder of WILPF Cameroon and was the Section’s president until 2022. She co-coordinated the African Working Group before her election as Africa Representative to WILPF’s International Board in 2018. A teacher by profession and an African Union Trainer in peace support operations, Sylvie has extensive experience advocating for the political and social rights of women in Africa and worldwide.

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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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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