Men, Masculinities & the Prospects of Feminist Peace in Cameroon – Alan Greig


A 2019 report by the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa is unequivocal: The Anglophone population in the Republic of Cameroon is experiencing a human rights catastrophe in the South West and North West regions of the country, home to most English-speaking Cameroonians. While there have been disputes and conflicts in these regions for decades, there has been a sharp escalation of serious violence, crime, and human rights violations since the crisis began.

But the unfolding crisis remains poorly understood and largely neglected, particularly regarding the gendered dimensions of the armed conflict.

To address this gap in understanding, WILPF Cameroon, together with the MenEngage Alliance country network in Cameroon and local CSOs, developed a research study to examine the causes, components and consequences of militarised masculinities in the current armed conflict.

Two further pieces of research were also commissioned: a literature review and a study on the extent to which men have supported or resisted women’s rights and gender equality.

Separately, a research study was undertaken providing much-needed information on how adolescent boys and men are coping with the economic and psychological strains resulting from the armed dispute and the impact on girls and women, as well as the society at large.

This synthesis report brings together the findings, insights and recommendations from these research studies and literature reviews to present an overview of the gendered dimensions and determinants of the current armed conflict, as well as outlining directions for work on mobilising men in support of a feminist peace. In doing so, it seeks to both explore the complex ways in which issues of masculinities are connected not only to men’s attitudes towards and behaviours in armed conflict, but also the political and economic forces fuelling and shaping such conflict and militarism more generally.

The report concludes that the prospects for feminist peace depend on a clear-sighted view of the gender dimensions of these varied forces, as well as their manifestations in cultural expectations of manhood and the behaviours of men and boys themselves. In Cameroon, as elsewhere, such a view makes clear that men and boys are not simply fighters but also targets and victims. A vision of feminist peace must make room for this complexity of gendered experience in conflict, in order to mobilise men in solidarity with women to address the underlying causes of militarised violence and masculinised militarism.



Engaging Men and Boys for Peacebuilding in Cameroon


A More Generous Embrace


Men, Masculinities & Armed Conflict: Findings from a four-country study by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom


Evolving Alliances: Men and Women – Access to Land, Gender Relations and Conflict in Anglophone Cameroon


Militarised Masculinities in Cameroon: A Review of Structural Gendered Dynamics

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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