WILPF Advocacy Documents


Statement on aid provision in Haiti

Human Rights
20 January 2010
Document type:
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On January 12, Haiti was hit hard by a disastrous earthquake, which damaged its capital Port-au-Prince and surroundings. Approximately three million people are dependent on medical assistance, shelter, water, food and sanitation, and corpse management. The most current estimations put the loss of life at an estimated 50.000 individuals.

This terrible earthquake has shown us the vulnerability of human life, but also that the current catastrophic circumstances are to a big extent man-made as well as nature-made. Haiti’s history of brutal colonial exploitation by the US since 1915, systematic postcolonial oppression, punitive international trade relations and status of protracted forgotten crisis, has contributed to the horror faced by Haitians today.

The coordination of relief programmes and the long term rebuilding of the Haiti should be the responsibility of the United Nations. We would like to commend the UN agencies for their fast and effective response, but want to emphasize that humanitarian assistance should never be mixed with military purposes and should never be provided by personnel in combat uniforms.

Building forth on the current UN efforts on providing gender sensitive relief aid, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom wants to urge UN Member States and Agencies to develop their efforts on:
1) The specific role and involvement of women in the provision of relief aid;
2) The participation of women in the planning and decision making of rehabilitation and development efforts and;
3) Disaster risk reduction and disaster preparedness projects in the rehabilitation and development phase.

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom would like to make the following recommendations to UN Member States and Agencies involved with the current distribution of relief aid in Haiti:

  • Increase the role played by the main UN bodies involved (OCHA, UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF) in the coordination of humanitarian efforts;
  • Link relief, rehabilitation and development to democratic political institution building, with a focus on increasing the representation of women;
  • Focus on disaster risk reduction and disaster preparedness projects with a leading role for women, as they are the most vulnerable;
  • Increase the establishment of food and cash-for-work programmes with a specific gender focus;
  • Ensure the protection of women in the current break-down of rule of law, in a similar manner as UNICEF ensures the protection of children.

Our thoughts and good wishes go to all the children, women and men in Haiti.

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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