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Are You Prepared for the Human Rights Council?

25 February 2013

Today is the first day of the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council and some of our colleagues of WILPF’s International Secretariat here in Geneva have already left their office desks to find their places in the opening meeting.

Every day, for a month, we will attend the main events and parallel meetings organised by other NGOs with a notepad at hand and an inquisitive, questioning mind on the search for interesting news and updates to share with you. But let’s start from the beginning…

What is the HRC?

The Human Rights Council (HRC) is the main United Nations intergovernamental forum dealing with human rights around the globe. Its main aims are on the one hand to promote and protect human rights and on the other to address human rights violations and making recommendations on them.

The Human Rights Council was created in 2006 and is made up of 47 states. It uses the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a mechanism we have been actively defending through our UPR campaign, to assess the human rights situation in all 192 UN Member States.

The HRC session that has just began will be dealing with a number of issues: from torture, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and counter-terrorism, to corruption and right to food and adequate housing.

Follow the Human Rights Council from your sofa!

Subscribe to the newsletters from the HRCWe will keep an almost daily blog on our website on the most interesting subjects discussed during the HRC and its parallel events. We will also keep you updated on facebook and twitter on the meetings and events we are attending.

If you want to receive our newsletter, every Monday, directly in your  email inbox, then subscribe to our weekly  newsletter and read all the most up-to-date news and updates.

Do not miss out the opportunity to follow the HRC:  subscribe to our newsletters from the Human Rights Council!

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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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