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Join the Second World March for Peace and Non-Violence!

Where peaceful demonstrations have increasingly been met with violent reactions from the state and security forces and women protesters targeted specifically, our hope lies in our capacity to continue our resistance. Organising peacefully – particularly with the youth and marginalised persons – in order to tackle inequalities shows that the world is not destined for doom.

Image credit: WILPF
WILPF International Secretariat
2 October 2019

We could easily begin this invitation by scaring you with statistics about violence, conflict, and war. “The world is becoming an increasingly insecure and hostile place”, we might say. “We are more likely to face our own extinction than to live to see a day of truly global peace.”

But to view the world through this narrow lens would be a misrepresentation.

Of course, the past year has provided no shortage of political upheavals. We have witnessed protests sweeping through Sudan, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Egypt, Honduras, India, Iraq, the UK, Zimbabwe, Chile, Indonesia, Bolivia, Algeria, and the list goes on. While geographically dispersed, these protests have been reactionary to global conditions of life which disproportionately harm those marginalised by society. These harms should not be underestimated – be they economic, social and/or political – and we must stand in solidarity with individuals and communities whose human rights are violated on a daily basis.

However, falling into essentialist claims of the world becoming an increasingly insecure and hostile place for us all to coexist also undermines the stories of progress. Looking again at these protests, we have seen more and more women joining hands in the frontlines of the struggle for their rights. Women have become icons of revolutions, as in the case of Alaa Salah singing for revolution in Sudan. More youth have started to participate, as witnessed in the youth climate strikes and with activists like Greta Thunberg or “water warrior” Autumn Peltier. Together we are driving movements and changes, and bringing diverse methods with us.

Where peaceful demonstrations have increasingly been met with violent reactions from the state and security forces and women protesters targeted specifically, our hope lies in our capacity to continue our resistance. Organising peacefully – particularly with the youth and marginalised persons – in order to tackle inequalities shows that the world is not destined for doom. At least not as long as we have a say on it.

It is for this reason (and many more!) that we invite you to take part in the second World March for Peace and Non-Violence.  The 1st march took place a decade ago and toured 97 countries on the 5 continents, covering two hundred thousand kilometres and engaging hundreds of thousands of people. Building on that experience, the march is now back to inspire people along its path…including you!

At WILPF International Congress in 2018, WILPF Italy and WILPF Spain put forward a proposal for WILPF’s participation in the march. The call was for our members and international offices to make their peace work visible as a means to build and strengthen our feminist peace movement. The march invites you to join in the celebration, creating activities on the days when the route will take place in your hometown. These can take multiple forms, get as creative as you would like! You can see some of the events already planned here and find out more on the march’s website about how to join.

The march is beginning today, 2 October 2019, in Madrid and will circle back to Madrid where it will finish on 8 March 2020. The route travels across all 5 continents, so there’s a good chance it’ll be arriving near you.

Please let us know whether you are planning to create events around the march – we would love to share your stories and photos. Let us unite in solidarity with peace activists across the world and show our resistance to global inequalities!

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WILPF International Secretariat

WILPF International Secretariat, with offices in Geneva and New York, liaises with the International Board and the National Sections and Groups for the implementation of WILPF International Programme, resolutions and policies as adopted by the International Congress. Under the direction of the Secretary-General, the Secretariat also provides support in areas of advocacy, communications, and financial operations.

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

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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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