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.