“It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the air force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber,” says the text on a WILPF flyer from 1979. 40 years after, our message is still the same: we need to move the money from war to peace in order to truly sustain peace that works for everyone.
In 2017, global military spending was estimated to be almost $1.7 trillion. Not only is this a terrifyingly high amount, but it is also scandalous when we know that women’s movements and empowerment remain woefully underfunded.
The global feminist movement has the same budget as one F-35 fighter plane (about $110 million). Read that twice.
WILPF does not buy the idea that the military presence equals security and that military responses lead to peace. Instead, we see militarism as one of the root causes of war and violence. It perpetuates toxic gender norms and violent masculinities that enable ongoing relapse into the conflict.
Guns don’t promote security, gender equality does.
WILPF works to the reallocation of resources currently spent on military towards activities that benefit women and humanity at large and advocate for the adoption of gender budgeting by all Member States. If we want peace, we must invest in inclusive participation, gender justice and human flourishing, and not in bombs.