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Great Hope for Colombia

24 June 2016

After more than 50 years of fighting, one of the world’s longest conflicts is getting closer to an end as a historic ceasefire has been signed by the Colombian government and the FARC-EP rebel movement on 23 June.

“As a feminist and pacifist international organisation that has worked for peace and disarmament for more than 101 years, WILPF Colombia celebrates the official announcement of the agreement on point 3 (on the end of the conflict) of the negotiation agenda that the government of Colombia and the FARC-EP are carrying out in la Havana, Cuba,” states WILPF Colombia in an email.

“Although we are still waiting for the final signing of all the negotiated points of the agreement and its approval by the Colombian people, today we celebrate the progress of what we consider one of the most historical points and that lays the foundation for the building of a sustainable and lasting peace in Colombia. We thank all the organisations and all the women who have joined us in this process to make this day a reality.”

The conflict in Colombia has claimed some 220,000 lives. More than 5 million people are estimated to have been displaced.

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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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