Latest News

Human Rights Council Session is Coming Up

25 February 2016

Monday 29 February marks the beginning of the 31st session of the Human Rights Council. The session is an opportunity for WILPF to bring its advocacy and address the root causes of war. It is also a chance to bridge the gap between the international and local levels, by providing information about human rights and human rights violations on the ground. Women’s human rights are often forgotten, and WILPF makes sure that they stay on the agenda.

Our focus during the Human Rights Council sessions is to integrate disarmament and the women, peace and security agenda within the work of the Human Rights Council. And in doing so, we will remind countries of their human rights obligations, whether they are directly implicated in an armed conflict, or indirectly contributing to it. Arms exports or the endorsement of peace negotiation processes that do not include women are some examples of how actions of States may affect the human rights of those enduring armed conflicts elsewhere.

[FACTBOX: The Human Rights Council]

This inter-governmental body is responsible for assuring the promotion and protection of Human Rights around the world, but also effective coordination and mainstreaming of human rights within the UN system. The Council convenes regular meetings three times a year and this will be its 31st session. The Council can investigate human rights violation or best practices with a country-focus or thematic focus. Some of the upcoming reports that will be studied include Libya, Eritrea, Syria, but also migrants or the right to food. NGOs in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) can participate in the Human Rights Council’s sessions as Observers. Through this status, we can, among other things, organise side events and deliver statements on issues relevant to the work of the Council. To learn more about human rights bodies, have a look at our previous webinars

What We Do

For the 31st session, WILPF will organise two side events and deliver several oral and written statements.

8 March 2016: Right to Food for Women

Food security is an essential part of human security, and women are often not only instrumental to ensure the right to food within communities, but also especially vulnerable to food insecurity.

The trajectory of the global economy encourages an agribusiness-dominated food system, which results in land-grabbing and displacement, rural-to-urban migration, and exploitative working conditions. These phenomena contribute at the same time to food insecurity and to fuelling conflict and constitute a root cause of war.

This economic model, and imposed food system, together with cultural (patriarchal) practices also view rural populations and their natural resources as production banks, rendering women invisible or reducing them to their role as mothers and caregivers and condemning them to diverse kinds of violence.

WILPF will be co-sponsoring a panel with FIAN International (Food First Information and Action Network) and many other NGOs to affirm: No Right to Food and Nutrition Without Womens Rights.

11 March 2016: Peacebuilding Defines our Future Now, Women Activism in Syria

The event will bring to light Syrian women’s grassroots organisations, how they act as both peacemakers and social rebuilders.

Advocacy Work

WILPF uses statements at the Council to influence the decision-taking processes at the Council, but we also provide expertise. Statements are based on hard facts that are sometimes unknown or not taken into consideration for political interests, such as women’s rights or arms exports. Raising such issues at the Human Rights Council guarantees that they can no longer be ignored.

WILPF will advocate for arms transfer, disarmament and peacebuilding to be included in the debates on human rights mainstreaming. We will also put focus on the impact of climate change on the health of women.

WILPF will help bring voices from our members from Eritrea, today part of different sections of WILPF around Europe, to the Human Rights Council. They want to call for a stop of the proliferation of weapons, kidnapping and human trafficking that the people of Eritrea are suffering from.

WILPF will also comment on the reports by the Commission of Inquiry on Syria and human rights in Lebanon.

We will join the Treaty Alliance in commenting the report on Transnational Corporations and other business enterprises with regards to human rights.

More updates coming soon!

Share the post

Your donation isn’t just a financial transaction; it’s a step toward a more compassionate and equitable world. With your support, we’re poised to achieve lasting change that echoes through generations. Thank you!

Thank you!

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

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Mauris facilisis luctus rhoncus. Praesent eget tellus sit amet enim consectetur condimentum et vel ante. Nulla facilisi. Suspendisse et nunc sem. Vivamus ullamcorper vestibulum neque, a interdum nisl accumsan ac. Cras ut condimentum turpis. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia curae; Curabitur efficitur gravida ipsum, quis ultricies erat iaculis pellentesque. Nulla congue iaculis feugiat. Suspendisse euismod congue ultricies. Sed blandit neque in libero ultricies aliquam. Donec euismod eget diam vitae vehicula. Fusce hendrerit purus leo. Aenean malesuada, ante eu aliquet mollis, diam erat suscipit eros, in.


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.

Skip to content