Hiroshima and Nagasaki Action Days 2021

paying the Price: What nuclear bombs are actually costing our planet

In 1945, the United States detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima (6 August) and Nagasaki (9 August). By the end of 1945, the bombing had killed around 140,000 people in Hiroshima, and another 74,000 in Nagasaki. Many of these people died immediately, and those who survived faced terrible side effects from the radiation. However, the human and environmental costs have persisted for generations – as have the costs of nuclear weapon testing and production around the world. This is why it is important to bring attention to both past and present environmental effects of nuclear bombs and nuclear energy through our four day action campaign, Paying the Price: What nuclear bombs are actually costing our planet.

WILPF Sections around the world are doing what they can to end the threat of nuclear weapons. From 6 to 9 August, WILPF will be campaigning to highlight the environmental impact of nuclear weapon development, production, testing and use, as well as the activities of WILPF Sections commemorating the victims. We will uphold the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as a crucial tool for nuclear abolition.

Download our Action Kit

On the occasion of this campaign, and with a purpose to make our voices even more impactful, we have created a toolkit. Facilitating access to our content and the promotion of our campaign will ensure a better success and will allow our concerns and demands to be better heard.

Together we have the power to raise our voices and create a viral movement for the ban on nuclear weapons. Human, financial, social and environmental damage… this issue is far too urgent and important to be ignored. Join us!

How you can participate

I’m an individual

As an individual, you can share the social media designs and promote the initiative on social media networks. We recommend using our hashtags for a more cohesive campaign – #PayingThePrice #NuclearBan #HiroshimaNagasaki #FeministPeace

I’m a WILPF Section

Together with our sisters in WILPF Japan, we have developed three different versions of opinion editorials (op-eds) that you can adapt to your specific country context and pitch to one or several national media.

Why these visuals?

For the visuals this year, we wanted to exude messages of hope, the environment and time. We were heavily inspired by Japanese culture, such as the paper crane, cherry blossom tree, and Mount Fuji. All of our images have a clear tie to the environment, to highlight this year’s central theme. Paper cranes symbolise wishes and good fortune in Japan.

Mountains and trees can be seen as representing resilience, growth, and evolution. The little girl in the principal image was meant to symbolise hope for a better future. This is what the world could look like if we prioritised lives and our planet over nuclear weapons. 

Want to know more?

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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