We’re 103 years old today and still going strong. The secret to our success? For our President, Kozue Akibayashi, it’s WILPF’s “global solidarity.” Here’s what she has to say about feminist peace:
Solidarity is extremely important to WILPF – not just within the organisation, but with the global network of feminist peacebuilders. So, thanks to you for helping us work towards peace and disarmament for the past century! If you feel like getting even more involved in our mission for peace, we would love for you to join us!
Each year as 28 April rolls around, WILPFers feel strongly the weight of their forbearers’ contributions to women’s rights and peace. 103 years ago today, the founders of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom demanded of their world leaders to cultivate peace in the looming shadow of war.
Jane Addams and Aletta Jacobs were two pioneers amongst the floods of peacebuilding women who convened at The Hague in 1915 and filled the largest conference hall to overflowing. Today WILPF members and partner peacemakers gather from the UN to the streets with contemporary initiatives, but the same goal of feminist peace.
The last year has seen WILPF push for an end to corporate impunity, report on the insecurity created by small arms distribution, celebrate our disarmament programme receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, shift funding from war to feminist peace, and welcome new Groups to our WILPF family.
What links us together from all corners is our steadfast commitment to feminist peace. This is a venture any person can take up, in many small ways. WILPF’s community openly welcomes you to share your peaceful ambitions, and to connect with our network of peacebuilders to strengthen and build on our shared causes.
As Emily Greene Balch said of the 1915 Convening, “What stands out most strongly among all my impressions of those thrilling and strained days at The Hague is the sense of wonder at the beautiful spirit of the brave, self-controlled women who faced ridicule and every sort of difficulty to express a passionate human sympathy… In the distress of mind that the war breeds in every thinking and feeling person, there is a poignant relief in finding a channel through which to work for peace.”
Here’s to 103 years, and many more.