Feminists have long called to transform gendered relationships of power from inequality to equality, from exploitation to justice, and from violence to peace. But what are masculinity and militarism? And how are they connected to violence and war?
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, demilitarised security, and justice.
Why is the Oldest Women’s Organisation Mobilising Men for Feminist Peace?
Watch the recording of our project event at the Ubuntu Symposium!
Socially-constructed gender norms that associate masculinity with power, violence, and control, play an important role in driving conflict and insecurity. These norms are enabled by institutions that glorify violence and fund the war system. To advance feminist peace, it is critical to work towards a transformation of the currently accepted norms.
Launching new global Initiative 2020-2022
In partnership with the MenEngage Alliance, and WILPF Sections in Afghanistan, Cameroon, Colombia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), WILPF has launched a bold initiative to confront militarised masculinities and mobilise men for feminist peace initially in four countries in 2020 and then expanding in subsequent years.
What are our goals for this project?
We will build alliances between women peacebuilders and men who work for gender equality. We will organise solidarity dialogues and learning exchange, promote joint agenda setting, and implement MenEngage’s accountability toolkit to strengthen our movement for peace and gender justice.
We will conduct global and national research to better understand the root causes and manifestations of militarized masculinities. We will look at the social and structural forces driving men to adopt militarized ideas of manhood, and look out for the strategies that are working to counter these forces and that advance feminist peace—locally, nationally and globally. To do this we will answer questions such as: How has war affected gender roles? How are women and men already working together to advance peace and how can we amplify these efforts? How do we address the political and economic drivers of militarised masculinities, including the arms industry and other parts of the war economy? How can bringing men into the feminist peace movement help us build power?
We will engage in advocacy at the national, local, and global levels, informed by new findings and insights. We will work with national governments to strengthen their capacity to engage men for equality, use existing human rights resolutions and national commitments, and draw on national and global accountability architecture to hold states to their obligations. This work on masculinities and engaging men will strengthen our existing work on the Women, Peace and Security agenda, disarmament, and human rights.
On this page, we will be sharing updates about this work and the activities of project partners.
In Loving Memory of Khopotso Bodibe
We are mourning the tragic loss of our colleague and friend Khopotso Bodibe, a wonderful activist, journalist, and human, who died of COVID-19 in July 2021. Khopotso worked with Sonke Gender Justice and MenEngage Africa. He was a brilliant health journalist for many years, and was the producer and presenter of the shows “Living with AIDS” and “Africa Gender Indaba” which shed light on and sparked discussion about so many key issues in South Africa and across the continent.
LIMPAL Colombia – Diálogos solidarios para confrontar al militarismo
Confronting Militarized Masculinities to Achieve Peace and Justice – Q&A with Dean Peacock
WILPF-Centrafrique – Les Masculinities Militarisées cas de la Republique Centrafricaine
“Men and boys are not naturally violent, but indoctrinated into violence. The various expressions of resistance to violence among men across the world shows that or default is to be concerned, to care and be cared for.”
– Gary Barker