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Feminist Peace Movement in Africa Forum, 18 August, Ghana

Feminist Peace Movement in Africa Forum hosted by WILPF will bring together peace activists and advocates from across Africa and globally to critically discuss the root causes of violence and women’s role in social transformation,  economic justice and peace. It aims to be a space to mobilse feminist solidarity for the strong and innovative nonviolent work in Africa.

Image credit: WILPF
WILPF International Secretariat
9 August 2018

Feminist Peace Movement in Africa Forum hosted by Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) will bring together peace activists and advocates from across Africa and globally to critically discuss the root causes of violence and women’s role in social transformation,  economic justice and peace. It aims to be a space to mobilse feminist solidarity for the strong and innovative nonviolent work in Africa.

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Date: 18th August 2018

Location: Exam Room, Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD), University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana

Programme:

8:00am-09:00am: Registration, coffee and welcome

9:00am: Welcome Address
Ayo Ayoola-Amale, President, WILPF Ghana
Guest of Honour, Joana Adzoa Opare, Gender Consultant / Activist

09:20-10:45: Session 1: Critical Analysis and Feminist Perspective on Root Causes of Violence
A deeper look at violent masculinities, patriarchy, militarism, colonialism, economic exploitation, corruption.

Moderator: Joy Onyesoh, Vice-President WILPF, and President WILPF Nigeria

Speakers:
Kate Addo Adeku, Professor, University of Ghana
Dean Peacock, Co-founder and Co-executive Director, Sonke Gender Justice

10:45-12:30: Session 2: Women’s Roles and Impacts in Prevention, Peaceful elections, Leadership and Peace Processes

Voices of leaders, survivors and advocates sharing examples of peacemaking work, peaceful elections, and how women can challenge and change power dynamics to transform social and cultural norms in different processes.

Moderator: Barbara Sangare, International Coordinator, Women Situation Room

Speakers:
Sylvie Ndongmo, President, WILPF Cameroon
Mpiwa Mangwiro, Regional Campaigns Specialist, Men Engage Alliance Africa Network
Edwick Madzimure, WILPF Zimbabwe
Nozizwe Madlala Routledge, Founder, Embrace Dignity

12:30-13:30: Lunch

13:30-15:00: Session 3: Group Discussions

Feminism, gender, women and…

  1. Elections and political participation (led by WILPF Nigeria)
  2. Disarmament and conflict prevention (led by WILPF Cameroon)
  3. Mediation (led by WILPF Ghana)
  4. Political economy and peace (led by WILPF Zimbabwe)
  5. Masculinities and engaging men (led by WILPF South Africa and Men Engage Alliance Africa)
  6. Migration and displacement (led by WILPF Chad)
  7. Facteurs de conflit (led by WILPF DRC) [en français] Conflict drivers Session held in French]

Participants are invited to choose a group discussion session to attend. Members of WILPF African Groups/Sections will facilitate each session on key thematic issues.

15:00-15:30: Coffee break

15:30- 16:30: Session 4: Synergies between Africa and the Global Movement and Mediation

A conversation looking at the synergies between African and Global feminist peace movements and also include a particular focus on mediation efforts and peace processes.

Moderator: Madeleine Rees, Secretary General, WILPF

Speakers:
Kozue Akibayashi, President, WILPF
Annie Amat Mbambi, President, WILPF DRC
Rida Altubuly, Co-founder and Director, Together We Build It, Libya

16:30-17:00: Closing

Wrapping up the day, we aim to pull together all we’ve heard from the different plenaries and sessions of the Forum, and outline paths forward.

Speakers:
Joy Onyesoh, WILPF Nigeria
Micheline Minani Muzaneza, Senior Trainer, Sonke Gender Justice

Learn more about WILPF in Africa

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WILPF International Secretariat

WILPF International Secretariat, with offices in Geneva and New York, liaises with the International Board and the National Sections and Groups for the implementation of WILPF International Programme, resolutions and policies as adopted by the International Congress. Under the direction of the Secretary-General, the Secretariat also provides support in areas of advocacy, communications, and financial operations.

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Melissa Torres

VICE-PRESIDENT

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

VICE-PRESIDENT

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

PRESIDENT

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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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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