Challenge the Arms Trade and Armed Violence

Every year, thousands of people are killed, injured, raped, exploited or forced to flee from their homes as a result of armed violence, as a result of the poorly regulated and irresponsible global arms trade. The global arms trade makes the world a less democratic and less safe place to live in. For everyone. Even long after an armed conflict is over, the mere presence of weapons can fuel domestic and sexual violence, which mainly targets women.

For more than 100 years, WILPF has challenged the view that weapons bring security and protection. We call attention to the link between the astronomical sums invested in war and militarism on the one hand, and the lack of resources for social and economic development on the other.

Tracking the international arms trade and its immediate and long-term effects is part of our daily work. We connect the dots. We show who profits from armed violence and the international arms trade, who is affected, and what the gendered impacts are.

We successfully led the campaign to include a provision on gender-based violence in the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), making it illegal for states to transfer arms if there is a risk that they will be used to commit or facilitate gender-based violence. WILPF has also worked with other organisations to advance gender perspectives in small arms control, including through the UN Programme of Action on small arms and light weapons  Today, we continue to promote a gender analysis in these fora and make sure that states live up to their obligations under international law.

Move The Money From War To Peace

Weapons, War and Women in the MENA Region

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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