WILPF Advocacy Documents

WILPF Statement for WILPF’s 94th Anniversary

28 April 2009
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Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Statement for WILPF’s 94th Anniversary
28 April 2009

On 28 April 1915 while war raged in Europe, over one thousand women from a diversity of cultures and languages came together to study, make known and eliminate the causes of war.

The organisation they formed, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom continues to assert the right and the responsibility of women to participate in decision-making on all aspects of peace and security.

Celebrating its 94 year history on 28 April, the organisation continues to empower women and work towards the elimination of war, racism, discrimination and violation of women’s rights..  WILPF women have contributed with other non-governmental organisations to see human rights recognised and codified, landmines banned, and an end to apartheid in South Africa, detailed in an exhibition  being launched around the world as part of the festivities.

While WILPF has witnessed progress over its 94 years, we live in a tense world of increasing military expenditure, of increasing investment in war, and still using war.  Gaza and the West Bank are occupied, burn and bleed, the violence in Democratic Republic of Congo continues, on and on, deaths in Afghanistan go on and on and the burkhaas in Afghanistan stay on and on.  The killing in Iraq continues, on and on, and so does the corporate welfare of Halliburton, Parsons Corp, Bechtel to name but a few of the profiteers in Iraq who have perfected organised crime.

While words such as ‘security’ and ‘terrorism’ are manipulated to leverage a reduction in civil and political rights, and the draining of human and financial resources from delivering economic, social and cultural rights and security for all, three interlocking crises are faced: climate change, peak oil and an economic depression.

Military security concepts and weapons profiteers bear enormous responsibility in killing our planet, impoverishing its people and changing our climate.  The US Pentagon is the biggest single user of oil in the world (320,000 barrels per day), and generates 750 million tons of toxic waste per year.

While more people become impoverished, governments are wasting enormous resources on weapons and preparation for war.  During a so-called financial crisis, governments are spending 1339 billion, the equivalent of 600 years of the UN’s budget, on military. Bombs, guns and landmines cannot be eaten, will not hinder a Tsunami, a hurricane, a flood, a virus, or a water shortage.  These are our real security threats.  We can face and address them, but only if we organize, cooperate and put  the human and economic resources currently going into weapons and war into human needs

Your donation isn’t just a financial transaction; it’s a step toward a more compassionate and equitable world. With your support, we’re poised to achieve lasting change that echoes through generations. Thank you!

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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