Ukraine

In the strongest possible terms, we urged the Council to address the underlying causes of the serious threat to international peace and security and to prevent debate from being abused by its member states to “grandstand their militaristic rhetoric.”

Open Letter to the United Nations Security Council

Since the conflict in Ukraine erupted in 2014, thousands of civilians have been killed and millions of people have been forced to flee their homes. Women activists play an important role in providing humanitarian assistance on the ground, yet their voices have been largely excluded from the formal peace process.

At the same time, the structural reforms and austerity measures driven by international financial institutions and the international community present in the country have contributed to growing poverty levels, with a disproportionate impact on women. They have deepened gender inequalities and made it even harder for women to participate in Ukraine’s peace efforts.

Now, as Russia invades Ukraine and tensions escalate within the international community, calls for peace have taken on even greater urgency – and women activists are pushing harder than ever to have their voices heard. 

Since the conflict in Ukraine began, WILPF has worked with Ukrainian women activists to call attention to the obstacles they are facing and elevate their voices, experiences, and demands for change. 

As a global organisation, we also provide spaces for Ukrainian activists to engage in dialogue with women who have lived through conflicts in other parts of the world, learn from their experiences, and find new ways to build peace in their own communities.

De-escalate and disarm

As the situation in Ukraine rapidly evolves, WILPF is working with Ukrainian women activists to demand action from the international community. 

We call on all those involved to immediately de-escalate and seek people-centred solutions for peace. 

View the links below to read our recent statements. 

updates on ukraine

16 May 2022
4min
Opinion
#NATO

Sweden’s and Finland’s NATO Membership Poses Great Risks

9 May 2022
21min
Analysis
#Ukraine

Holding Onto Nonviolence and Feminism in the Midst of War

19 April 2022
17min
Opinion
#Ukraine

Don’t Normalise Nuclear Weapons and War— Abolish Them

Media Requests

If you have a media inquiry to make about our efforts for sustainable peace in Ukraine, please contact Nina Hansen, our Communications Manager: nina.hansen@wilpf.org.

Be sure to include your name, the media outlet you work for, and a clear subject line for better processing of your request.

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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