Korea

Peace in the Koreas

At the end of the Second World War, Korea was liberated from 35 years of colonial rule with the defeat of Japan. But liberation did not bring peace. 

Three years later, when negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union failed to establish a single government, Korea was divided into two separate states. The creation of the Republic of Korea (ROK) in the south and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the north instigated the three-year-long Korean War, which saw four million casualties, mass displacement, and profound destruction. 

Although an armistice agreement was signed by the DPRK and the US in 1953, bringing an end to active fighting, the war was never resolved – and hostilities remain high. Today, the Korean Peninsula continues to be affected by militarisation, the ongoing arms race, the existence of nuclear weapons, and threats of nuclear action.

WILPF in Korea: Korea Peace Now!

In 2019, WILPF partnered together with Women Cross DMZ, the Korean Women’s Movement for Peace, and the Nobel Women’s Initiative to launch Korea Peace Now! Women Mobilizing to End the War

A global campaign to educate, organise, and advocate for a peace agreement to end the Korean War, Korea Peace Now! is a powerful women-led initiative calling on the international community to take meaningful steps toward demilitarisation, denuclearisation, and a future of sustainable peace in Northeast Asia.

The campaign’s work is focused on creating spaces for dialogue, educating community members and governments about the need for a formal end to the Korean War, and engaging in analysis and lobbying activities in and around the United Nations. 

Korea Peace Now! is urging people all over the world to sign the Korea Peace Appeal and demand an end to the Korean War. Learn more and sign the appeal today. 

Watch the UNCA press conference with women leaders from the United States, South Korea and Japan on their global campaign towards the Korean peace process:

Learn more about WILPF’s work in Korea and the Korea Peace Now! campaign 

Melissa Torres

VICE-PRESIDENT

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 WILPF US’ Practicum in Advocacy Programme at the United Nations. She holds a PhD in Social Work and currently works at the University of Texas as the Director of Human Trafficking Research at one of the university’s think tanks. Of Mexican descent, born on the US and Mexican border, and raised between the two countries, Melissa is mostly concerned with the protection of displaced Latinxs in the Americas. She is also involved with the American Red Cross as a volunteer, trainer, and researcher focused on post-disaster aid distribution and work with undocumented Latinxs. 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

VICE-PRESIDENT

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

PRESIDENT

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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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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