WILPF Advocacy Documents

WILPF Resolution on WILPF and UN Women

Human Rights | Women’s Participation
5 August 2011
Document type:
Body submitted to:

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), meeting at the Quadrennial Congress in San José, Costa Rica in August 2011,

Welcoming the formation of United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), which was created in July 2010 by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly and looking forward to its leadership and coherent strategy,

Acknowledging the appointment of Michelle Bachelet, M.D., who will lead, support, and coordinate the work on gender equality and the empowerment of women at global, regional, and country levels as the first Executive Director of UN Women,

Recalling the UN Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR) Campaign, which urged UN Member States and the UN Secretariat to create a UN gender equality entity, now known as UN Women,

Recognizing that WILPF was part of the network of working groups for the GEAR Campaign and endorses and supports the advocacy of GEAR.

Bearing in mind that UN Women will focus on peace and security as one of five priority areas fundamental to women’s equality.

Acknowledging that women are disproportionately and uniquely impacted by armed conflict, that women play a central role in preventing conflict, and yet continue to be severely underrepresented in peace, security and reconstruction processes,

Reaffirming that the UN Security Council shall continue to be responsible for the implementation of Resolution 1325 and shall regularly work in collaboration with UN Women, inviting it to brief the Council and gaining from its expertise and information,

Considering the UN Security Council mandate, reaffirming that the Council shall remain a key focus for WILPF’s work on monitoring and advocating for systematic integration of women, peace and security,

Encouraging UN Women to advance women’s active role in total and universal disarmament, the abolition of all kinds of armed violence and the promotion of women’s role in conflict transformation,

  1. Supports and encourages UN Women in ensuring that women are represented in discussions, negotiations and policymaking regarding peace and security at local, national, regional and international levels;
  2. Urges that UN Women shall ensure that threats to women’s rights are identified and prevented and that women shall be at the centre of peace talks and post-conflict reconstruction;
  3. Requests the engagement and participation of UN Women with civil society and WILPF members in all areas of work including peace and security, and we urge increased UN access and transparency for civil society in all forums including the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW);
  4. Calls on UN Women to adopt a rights-based approach to fulfill women’s rights and securing peace;
  5. Urges UN Women to create a space and take measures in discussing key security issues, such as disarmament and reducing military spending;
  6. Encourages UN Women to provide leadership and coordination across and within the UN system on gender and on women, peace and security; including on sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations Peacekeepers and personnel;
  7. Demands all UN agencies, bodies and actors to fulfill their obligations and responsibilities on women’s rights and gender mainstream and not use existence of the new agency as a derogation of these;
  8. Offers to partner, monitor and assist UN Women in strengthening the UN system and promoting the continuous development and implementation of international law for the benefit of equality and human dignity; and
  9. Demands that countries follow through on their commitments and monetary pledges given the need for comprehensive funding of the programs and field offices of UN Women in meeting the expectation of women around the world, without reduction to existing civil society support.

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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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