Celebrating Feminists’ Voices, Inspiring Global Peace

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Feminist Peace in Africa: Highlights from WILPF Forum Report

“African feminist peace activists need to unite regionally and continue to connect with the progressive global women’s movement,” says Joy Onyesoh, WILPF’s new President, in our outcome report of the forum ‘Feminist Peace Movement in Africa’, which is released today.

Image credit: WILPF
WILPF International Secretariat
28 September 2018

“African feminist peace activists need to unite regionally and continue to connect with the progressive global women’s movement,” says Joy Onyesoh, WILPF’s new President, in our outcome report of the forum ‘Feminist Peace Movement in Africa’, which is released today.

250 participants from...

16 African countries - Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, DRC, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe - attended to the conference together with many international participants from WILPF National Sections and Groups.

WILPF's presence in Africa since 2007 has been multiplied by 16.

It was a diverse and colourful crowd gathering on 18 August 2018 at the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy at the University of Ghana. Early morning, two hundred and fifty participants walked through the glass doors and took their seat, ready to discuss and learn about feminist movement building for peace in Africa.

Roads to Feminist Peace in Africa

The forum, hosted by WILPF, brought together WILPF members and women from sixteen African countries, united by the desire to discuss about the root causes of violence in the continent, the difficulties for peace movements to grow in this context, and women’s role in social transformation, economic justice and peacebuilding.

Participants agreed that the feminist peace movement in Africa is strong, diverse, active and growing. The rich history of African women should help to expand women’s influence, participation and rights to work towards a just and sustainable peace.

In order to do uncover roads to peace, the participants engaged in discussions on topics such as conflict drivers, elections and political participation, disarmament and conflict prevention, political economy and peace, and masculinities and engaging men. As an example, one group looked into how to develop a model of mediation that would include the work of local women and women’s organisations at the core of the peace process. Mind maps summarising key elements of each discussion are available in the report.

Building the African Feminist Peace Movement

The discussions provided many opportunities for the participants to share their experiences, advice and build the African feminist peace movement further by developing their network amongst peace and women’s rights activists and advocates.

To learn more about the captivating discussions that took place during the Forum, have a look at the report WILPF has prepared, which captures the discussions.

To have a quick glance at the event, watch the video highlights of the day.

More discussion about Feminist Peace took place the following days during WILPF’s 32nd International Triennial Congress, gathering all members for the first time in Africa during WILPF’s 103-year-long history.

Download WILPF Feminist Peace Movement in Africa Forum report

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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


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


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


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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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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