WILPF Burkina Faso Group officially joined the WILPF family in 2018. In a regional context where political instability and insecurity has gradually increased over the past few years, WILPF Burkina Faso Group is working on advocating for peaceful resolution of conflicts and aims to promote women’s participation within security issues.
While still a young member of WILPF, WILPF Burkina Faso already has multiple objectives and an important agenda. Among its activities, the Group aims to educate the public on peaceful and non-violent conflict resolution, contribute to reducing the proliferation of weapons, and collaborate with regional actors to strengthen women’s participation in political decisions.
The WILPF Burundi Group emerged in 2017 from a gathering of strong and motivated women united by the common aim of improving the situation of women in their country. At the core of their mission stands the will to end gender discrimination and violence against females.
While the WILPF Burundi Group only recently joined the WILPF family, it has already been working on a considerable number of projects. These include assisting illiterate women to access legal support and promoting at a State level the importance of UNSCR 1325, which acknowledges the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women and girls.
WILPF Cameroon was officially set up as a Group in January 2014 and became a Section during the 2015 WILPF Congress. It was founded as a result of the increasing regional security challenges, the influx of refugees into the northern and eastern parts of the country, and the urgent need to focus on peacebuilding, demilitarisation, and women’s rights. In this context, WILPF Cameroon emerged to offer a platform from which women could influence the security issues their country faces, and from which they are usually excluded.
WILPF Cameroon’s mission is to contribute to social stability by building a movement of women peacemakers to end and prevent war. It aims to ensure that women are represented at all levels in the peace consolidation process, to defend women’s rights, and to promote social, economic, and political justice. WILPF Cameroon is actively working on the implementation of Cameroon’s National Action Plan (NAP) UNSCR 1325, as well as researching Cameroon’s arms trade and organising capacity-building workshops on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the UN Programme of Action (UNPoA) for authorities and civil society partners.
WILPF Central African Republic Group became a WILPF National Group in 2018. From a country that has been experiencing severe politico-military crises over the past few years, WILPF CAR decided to join WILPF’s network to promote peace and women’s rights within its national borders.
WILPF CAR’s first objective is to promote a gender analysis of conflict to the national authorities and population. It aims to advocate for peace and for women’s essential role in conflict resolution processes. While WILPF CAR is a new Group, it already aims to organise various trainings and reflection workshops to engage people with issues of women, peace and security.
WILPF Chad joined the WILPF family in 2016 with the ambition of creating a platform that would press for a wider representation of women in peace processes. Surrounded by conflicts of an extreme violence (Boko Haram in the west, the Sudanese war to the east, and the Central African Republic conflicts to the south) that render the whole region unstable, Chad faces many challenges. In this context, WILPF Chad advocates for a different vision of the world, one in which conflicts are resolved by peaceful means, and where men and women are equally empowered to enable the realisation of their best selves.
WILPF Chad strongly believes that women are an essential element in peace processes and works to enable them to play their role. The Section includes among its goals: participating in the implementation processes of women’s rights frameworks (CEDAW and Beijing declaration, UNSCR 1325) at the national level; cooperating with political, traditional, and religious authorities; participating in conflict resolution by presenting peaceful alternatives in schools, universities, security and military corps, women’s and youth organisations; strengthening women’s participation in the country’s development work; and reaching the population of rural areas for sustaining peace debates.
Address: Rue de 40 metres, Rond-point palis de 15 janvier, N’djamena, Chad Telephone: +235 66 27 64 17/+235 92 01 01 19 Email: wilpf-chad (a) hotmail.com
WILPF DRC was founded in 2007 and officially became a Section in August 2011. The Section grew quickly and developed close contacts with other national and international organisations. WILPF DRC’s main objectives are to contribute to the elimination of gender discrimination and to engage in the construction and consolidation of peace in the country.
The Section works in different parts of DRC, focusing primarily on the implementation of the UNSCR 1325. Among its activities, WILPF DRC organises trainings and workshops to raise awareness on issues of women, peace, and security. WILPF DRC has also played an important role in consolidating WILPF’s network in Africa by supporting the creation of other Sections, like WILPF Cameroon and WILPF Uganda.
WILPF Ghana joined WILPF in 2011 and officially became a Section in 2015. In a country where more than a third of women suffer from domestic violence, WILPF Ghana aims to challenge the unbalanced power relations between men and women. The Section also advocates against militarism and is an active promoter of human rights at national and regional levels.
WILPF Ghana aims to challenge the unequal power dynamic that underpins society by raising awareness of violence against women and disarmament issues. The Section is working to change familial power relations by focusing on peace education and by investigating the root causes of violence. Over the years, the Section has increased its work on peace and other women’s issues by partnering up with local organisations and WILPF Sections in the region.
WILPF Côte d’Ivoire Group joined the WILPF family in 2018 in order to have an impact on the tense political climate of its country. In a context in which women suffer from multiple counts of discrimination and are particularly negatively affected by conflict, the Group aims to promote women’s rights and advocate for a wider representation of women within peace processes.
WILPF Côte d’Ivoire Group is working on challenging gender injustice by analysing the root causes of violence at the local level, with the objective of promoting peaceful conflict resolution through peace education and reconciliation.
WILPF Kenya has been part of the WILPF family since 2017. The Section envisions a Kenya free from violence and armed conflict; a country in which human rights are protected, and where women and men are equally empowered and involved in positions of leadership at local and national levels. The Section uses WILPF’s integrated approach to peace as its key tool to create the conditions for the pursuit of long-lasting peace in the country.
WILPF Kenya aims to realise WILPF’s vision by highlighting women’s role and contribution within Kenyan society. In a country that has been affected by conflict, WILPF Kenya works to reconcile divided communities, promoting integration and cohesion in creating spaces for dialogue and empowering citizens through civic education and civic engagement. The Section also works to strengthen local and regional communities’ conflict management capacities.
WILPF Niger Group joined WILPF in 2018 with the aim of promoting women’s rights in Niger and the region, and enabling women to play an active role in conflict resolution. To accomplish its mission, WILPF Niger Group is focusing on educating girls and women, raising awareness of their roles, their responsibilities, and the need to include them in peace mediation, peacebuilding, and negotiations.
WILPF Nigeria joined WILPF in 2009 and officially became a Section in 2011. WILPF Nigeria was initiated in response to a country faced with multidimensional problems related to the discrimination of women and the challenges they face in participating in security issues.
WILPF Nigeria aims to provide a platform to address conflicts through peaceful and nonviolent means, and to build women’s capacity as leaders both at the grassroots and national levels. To fulfil its mission, WILPF Nigeria uses the CEDAW and the UNSCR 1325 as a powerful tool to advocate for women’s rights and for a better representation of women within security issues. The Section organises seminars for women’s capacity building and for increasing the overall understanding of human rights, while promoting women as agents of change and peace.
WILPF Nigeria is also leading the implementation of the Women’s Situation Room Nigeria (WSRN) which makes the connection between women’s essential role in conflict prevention and women’s active participation in the electoral process, specifically related to observing, monitoring, and reporting on electoral and gender-based violence during the elections.
WILPF Sierra Leone Group was created in 2018 with the aim of advocating for women’s rights and raising awareness of the value of women’s participation in civil society. WILPF Sierra Leone Group also advocates for better legal protection of women. Indeed, while Sierra Leone’s Government has signed and ratified most international frameworks, women continue to suffer from severe injustices and are excluded from the governance spheres, including security issues.
WILPF Sierra Leone Group may have joined the WILPF family only recently, but it has already engaged in actions aiming at engaging women in sustainable economic activities to alleviate poverty, working with policy makers to stress the importance of women’s rights, advocating for the rights of rural women, and training women to advocate for their rights. Furthermore, WILPF Sierra Leone Group is actively engaged in opposing gender-based violence and advocates against harmful traditional practices which affect women and girls around the country.
Address: C19 Bayconfields Complex, 7G Off Fergusson Street, Brookfields, Freetown, Sierra Leone
WILPF Sudan Group joined WILPF in 2018. The Group embraces WILPF’s vision and aims to bring a women’s perspective to peace processes at both local and international levels. Coming from a country severely affected by conflict, the Group has joined WILPF with the objective of promoting human rights and denouncing their violations, especially those against women.
WILPF Sudan Group aims to implement projects and activities on peace education, such as conflict resolution skills, human rights education, and advocating for human rights and peace. The Group is also working at establishing its role as a strong advocate for women’s participation in security issues in Sudan.
The WILPF Togo Group joined us in 2019. By taking a multipronged approach and engaging all sectors of society, the newly formed Group seeks to establish a culture of peace in the context of Togo.
To entrench harmonious coexistence across communities where inequalities are rife, the Group advocates for tolerance, non-violence and social justice. At the institutional level, the WILPF Togo Group is working towards establishing an early-warning mechanism to detect sources of conflict. The group sees consistent dialogue between state, non-state and grassroots actors and communities as an essential prerequisite to combat violence in all its forms. The involvement of women as peacebuilding actors in mediation and decision-making is equally crucial.
Another one of the goals of WILPF Togo is to address the root causes of terrorism. Given the widespread nature of poverty in Togo, they seek to find employment opportunities particularly for women and young people to enhance their wellbeing so that they are less vulnerable to fall into the webs of extremist violence.
WILPF Uganda started as a Group in 2014 and aims to work with grassroots communities to suppress gendered violence and promote women’s participation in conflict resolution. The aim of the Section is to analyse the root causes of conflicts in order to better understand and address them.
Since its foundation, WILPF Uganda has worked for a world without war by participating in national protests, organising workshops, and creating a space for women to discuss conflict resolution strategies that they can apply to their communities.
MEET WILPF UGANDA ONLINE
Address: P. O. Box 3556, Kampala Telephone: + 256 772 40 52 95
WILPF Zimbabwe joined WILPF in 2016 following the realisation that, while Zimbabwean women suffer from constant discrimination, there was no national women’s organisation that tackled female security issues. The Section aims to represent women’s interests on a national level, while being active on the international level and influencing peace-building processes.
WILPF Zimbabwe strives to support women’s meaningful participation in building a sustainable culture of peace and democracy through the establishment of a solid footing in lobbying, advocacy, and campaign initiatives. The Section advocates against forced marriage, and campaigns to challenge gender stereotypes and to denounce domestic violence.
Address: 8 Jasmine Msasa Park, Kwekwe, Zimbabwe Telephone: +263785245103
WILPF Aotearoa is one of the oldest Sections of WILPF. Since its creation in 1916, WILPF Aotearoa has shared the same aims and objectives as every other member. While its determination to challenge unequal gender relations has remained unchanged, the Section has faced some difficulties throughout its history. In the 1920s and 1930s, its membership was small and there was little activity. A few years later, with the outbreak of World War II, WILPF Aotearoa’s activities ceased until 1955, when the Section was re-established in Auckland after a visit to New Zealand by Quaker physicist Kathleen Lonsdale. A branch in Wellington was set up soon afterwards. Aware of the difficult colonial context in their country, the Section’s official name changed in 1989 from WILPF New Zealand to WILPF Aotearoa.
Nowadays, WILPF Aotearoa focuses its work on indigenous peoples’ rights, women’s rights, opposing militarism, and pressing for the abolition of nuclear weapons. WILPF Aotearoa is committed to honouring the Treaty of Waitangi, seeing it as a positive way to prevent conflict and remedy past and present injustices in their country.
WILPF Australia was founded in 1920 after some Australian women attended the 1919 Congress. For almost a century, WILPF Australia has been pushing for a better representation of women in peace processes and campaigning for total and universal disarmament. WILPF Australia is organised in Branches which collaborate in order to promote women’s rights and challenge militarism at both national and international levels.
WILPF Australia is an important actor within the Australian women’s rights landscape. Its areas of work include monitoring the Australian National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, challenging militarism by campaigning for the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to be signed by the Australian Government by 2020, and advocating for a gender-sensitive national Human Rights Act to be legislated in Australia by 2021.
WILPF Japan was founded in 1921 with the vision of bringing the power of women to achieve permanent peace. The Section is organised into Regional Branches and cooperates with other women’s organisations to advocate for women’s rights, disarmament, and peace.
Among its activities, WILPF Japan organises public lectures, study groups, and protests against militarised violence. In particular, the Section advocates against sexual violence by the US military stationed in Japan, and against military build-up in Okinawa and Kyoto. Aware of the horrors that occurred in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, WILPF Japan has been fully engaged in calling for a total and universal ban on nuclear weapons.
WILPF Polynesia was created in 1982 with the aim of tackling gender discrimination and ending gender violence. The Section’s goal is to lead a strong feminist movement in the country in order to further promote women’s rights and raise awareness of the injustices suffered by women.
In a post-colonial context, the Section also advocates for the “right to difference”; that is, for a country where ethnic minorities do not face discrimination. Consequently, WILPF Polynesia challenges normative stereotypes inherited by a liberal and white colonialism which further discriminates against native women within their own community.
WILPF Afghanistan became part of the WILPF family in 2016. The members of the Section aim to participate in the creation of an Afghanistan free from war and violence. Among the values guiding the work of the Section is the belief that a genuine and sustainable peace can only be achieved with women’s participation within peace processes—a concept that is almost non-existent in Afghanistan. Indeed, while Afghan women have been severely and disproportionately affected by the long-lasting conflicts in their country, they have been kept away from peace-building processes. WILPF Afghanistan was formed with the aim of suppressing this injustice.
Composed of a group of local women volunteers, WILPF Afghanistan has reached out to WILPF’s network to establish stronger relations with national and international partners promoting peace and justice for all. Since its establishment, the Section has created and supported various programmes promoting peace, and has led projects challenging the inequalities generated by unbalanced gender power relations.
WILPF India was established in 2001 by former WILPF International President and Secretary General Edith Ballantyne and former WILPF International President Dr Krishna Ahooja Patel. Since then members have been working at local and national levels, organising workshops, symposiums, and seminars, and presenting papers. WILPF India aims to create awareness among students and women about national and international WILPF programme issues.
In addition to focusing on promoting the overall vision of WILPF, the Section also works on implementing the UNSCR 1325, envisioning an Indian society free from gendered violence and where every girl and women is fully empowered.
MEET WILPF INDIA ONLINE
Address: Peace Research Center, Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad 380014, India
WILPF Nepal was established in 2047 B.S. (1990 A.D.). Since then, it has advocated for a world free from conflict and where gender justice will be achieved. WILPF Nepal addresses both the root causes of conflicts and the injustices that women suffer.
WILPF Nepal’s work focuses on the issues of human rights, CEDAW, UNSCR 1325, domestic violence, trafficking, increasing women’s participation at Government decision-making levels, and the ongoing peace process in the country. The Section also engages in lobbying activities condemning women’s rights violations.
WILPF Pakistan was created in 2011 and has since mobilised a number of women in Pakistan to sensitise them on the significance of women’s involvement in peace and security processes at all levels, including community, regional, national, and global.
WILPF Pakistan is active in educating the public about the issue of women’s rights and the impact of small arms on human development. The Section is also working to challenge militarism and unbalanced gendered power relations, raising awareness of the links between military expenditure, violent conflict, and the reduction of available resources for social and economic development and the promotion of gender equality. In particular, the Section’s work emphasises how high military spending and access to small arms have a negative impact on women’s lives.
WILPF Sri Lanka originally joined WILPF in 1953, however, the Section was eventually dissolved and formed again in 2019 as a WILPF National Group. As Sri Lanka’s civil war, which lasted almost three decades, came to an end in 2009, the group operates in a post-conflict environment. For this reason, the Group seeks to promote reconciliation, social cohesion, constitutional reform, and good governance.
WILPF Sri Lanka Group is active on a significant number of issues, including on women peace and security, environment, gender and women empowerment. Moreover, since 2018, WILPF Sri Lanka Group has started to build various partnerships with other civil society organisations. By building bridges with other organisations, the group has engaged in projects on women’s political participation and on legal issues related to women. In the future, WILPF Sri Lanka aims to make use of its members’ expertise by focusing more on advocacy and analysis for advancing peace, security and women’s rights locally and regionally.
WILPF Lebanon was founded in 1962. In a country that has seen many decades of political and military crisis, WILPF Lebanon advocates for a world free from violence and where women are fully included in peace processes.
The Section currently focuses its work on providing Syrian women living in refugee camps with the opportunity to acquire skills in resolution of daily conflicts within their communities. As part of this project, the Section assists Syrian refugees by providing essential material such as mattresses, blankets, gas burners, clothes, and kitchen utensils. It has also established a learning centre in one of the refugee camps and provides books and stationery for the children.
WILPF Lebanon also works with refugees by supporting lectures, teaching and training of women in all fields. It often holds symposiums and lectures to spread WILPF’s principles of gender equality, peace education, disarmament, and human rights.
MEET WILPF LEBANON ONLINE
Address: Attn: Nouha Ghosn, PO Box 14-6725, Beirut
WILPF Palestine was founded in 1988 and is today represented by female activists from various cities, small towns, villages, and refugee camps. WILPF Palestine is working to promote women’s participation within security issues and political decisions. The Section is also concerned with the role that women can play in building the state of Palestine.
WILPF Palestine is active in the promotion of the role of women in Palestinian elections—local, legislative, and presidential—while also being involved in local initiatives to empower Palestinian women on issues like domestic violence, gender equality, and the implementation of UNSCR 1325.
The Section is also dedicating time and efforts to support the question of women political prisoners. Members of WILPF Palestine participate in demonstrations to support Palestinian females in prison, and write letters and statements to highlight the hardships they face, especially in Israeli prisons and detention camps.
In 1915, leading members of the Danish Women’s Association participated in the International Congress of Women in the Hague. Following on from that, they formed “The Women’s Peace Chain”, which became WILPF Denmark in 1925. The Section is known in Denmark under the name Kvindernes Internationale Liga for Fred og Frihed. Being over a century old, WILPF Denmark has a very rich history. During WWII, the Section played a key role in helping Jewish people escape to Sweden.
WILPF Denmark’s main focus areas are the Women’s Peace and Security agenda, human rights, and global arms control. In particular, the Section actively works on lobbying Governments to respect women’s human rights, addressing violations within and outside Denmark.
When the Finnish Women’s Union—which would later become WILPF Finland—was founded in 1926, it was the first women’s peace organisation in the country. Nowadays Finland is considered an example to follow in terms of gender equality and social progress, but its history is far from peaceful. In fact, WILPF Finland was created only 10 years after a civil war and, little more than a decade later, Finland saw another war against the USSR.
WILPF Finland is aware of its long history and knows the progress that has been made. Today, WILPF Finland has not stopped advocating for peace and gender justice. The Section’s work focuses on cooperation with Afghan and Iranian immigrants, advocacy around the UNSCR 1325, and the establishment of partnerships with other peace organisations in the country.
WILPF Germany was founded in 1919. In Germany the Section is known as Die Internationale Frauenliga für Frieden und Freiheit (IFFF). Within the political atmosphere of nationalism and militarisation of the 1920s, WILPF Germany emerged as a radical peace and feminist organisation. Up to 1928 more than 2,000 women gathered in 80 branches for political and equitable participation, claiming peaceful solutions in the process of ongoing conflicts and supporting peace and freedom.
As Nazi terror gripped Germany, critical political engagement became more and more dangerous. Peace organisations such as WILPF Germany were prohibited and the activists faced prosecution and detention. Many emigrated as a result, but in 1945 WILPF activists started to reorganise the Section.
WILPF Germany is today a strong advocate for a world without nuclear weapons, and it lobbies to stop the arms race as well as for the implementation of UNSCR 1325. The Section promotes women’s participation within political decisions and aims at building a society where sustainable peace prevails.
A WILPF Section was initially constituted in Italy in the 1920s, but was discontinued during WWII. It was only in 1989 that WILPF Italy was officially reconstituted. Today, the Section is present in different Italian cities and has developed extensive partnerships with national women’s organisations.
WILPF Italy focuses its energy on a range of thematic areas, including disarmament, the promotion of UNSCR 1325, women’s rights and empowerment, environmental issues, and democratisation of the UN. To accomplish WILPF’s vision, WILPF Italy actively participates in seminars, organises workshops in schools and universities to raise awareness of the Women, Peace, and Security agenda, and engages in actions against nuclear arms.
WILPF Netherlands was founded in1984 by a group of women who wanted to create a world of sustainable peace in which every individual would benefit from the same rights. Today, the Section is active at national and international level by conducting research to influence policies in the area of conflict prevention and conflict resolution.
WILPF Netherlands aims to contribute to the realisation of total disarmament in cooperation with other grassroots organisations and scientific institutions. To achieve long-lasting peace, the Section supports the implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the Netherlands and Europe, especially for refugees, human rights defenders, and women peace activists. Moreover, the Section works on human rights, demilitarisation and disarmament, and against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
WILPF Norway, or Internasjonal Kvinneliga for Fred og Frihet (IKFF), was founded in 1915 when various Norwegian women’s organisations sent representative delegates to the first WILPF Congress in the Hague. Throughout its history, WILPF Norway has been involved in numerous anti-war protests and has been an important advocate for mediation in international conflicts and the development of peace education and peace studies.
Today, WILPF Norway continues to be part of initiatives at the national level, in particular against the Norwegian membership of NATO and reclaiming the United Nations as the international peace organisation. The Section has also been actively campaigning against the inclusion of women in military service and taken a significant role in advocating the banning of nuclear weapons. WILPF Norway also works to raise awareness about the UNSCR 1325 and has participated in its wider implementation, pressing the Norwegian Government to further its efforts for peace mediation.
WILPF Spain was created in 2011 by a group of women with a long-standing involvement in international peace movements. Some were notably part of the antinuclear feminist pacifist movement of the 1980s, while others took part in the “Women in Black” anti-war movement during the following decade. They joined the WILPF family to benefit from the expertise and analysis of the oldest women’s peace organisation in the world.
Since its creation, WILPF Spain has actively campaigned against the militarisation of Spain and educated the public on the Women, Peace, and Security agenda and connected issues. The Section participates in many international meetings and focuses on publishing research in journals and newspapers with the aim of informing a wider public on the core work of WILPF.
WILPF Sweden was founded in 1919 and is known in Swedish as Internationella Kvinnoförbundet för Fred och Frihet (IKFF). WILPF Sweden is involved in a variety of different projects focused on disarmament, conflict prevention, and the Women, Peace, and Security agenda through lobbying, information, and advocacy.
WILPF Sweden cooperates closely on capacity building and advocacy with a number of other WILPF Sections in conflict and post-conflict settings. It also collaborates with other Swedish and international organisations through networks in both the women’s movement and the peace movement.
From women’s right to vote to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, WILPF Sweden has taken part in some of the major social issues of our times. The Section is also an important political actor in the country, and conducts membership engagement activities among university students.
WILPF Switzerland was created following the International Congress of Women in The Hague in 1915, but closed in 1975. A second Swiss Section was reborn in 1984 and lasted until 1998. Today’s Section has been advocating for women’s rights and a world free from armed conflict since 2004.
WILPF Switzerland organises information stands events on different issues, like the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and ending the occupation of Palestine. The Section also annually organises events around the international campaign “16 days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence” in cooperation with other national NGOs.
Over the years, WILPF Switzerland has pushed for a better representation of women within Swiss society and has denounced gender-based injustice. The Section has also opposed right-wing policies that target minority groups and further discriminate against women from these communities.
WILPF United Kingdom was born following the International Congress of Women in The Hague in 1915, and for over a century it has worked on building peace through a feminist lens. WILPF UK has also worked extensively on documenting the long history of the Section, bringing together the stories of our foremothers, their experiences and activities to current members.
Among its key work, WILPF UK has been lobbying governments on issues including women’s participation in peacebuilding, anti-war, militarism in schools, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and Gaza. The Section also specifically campaigns on giving a voice to diaspora African women and works among women from around twelve countries. WILPF UK has organised workshops and seminars to offer refugee women the space to raise their voice and tell their stories. The Section has also been fully engaged and has played a significant role in the campaign to ban nuclear weapons.
A Section of WILPF was originally started in Argentina at the beginning of the 1990s. However, the political context of the country forced many of its activists to exile to Spain and the Section was dissolved. WILPF Argentina Group re-emerged in 2018, when it rejoined WILPF with the same determination to challenge the patriarchal system that generates injustice and violence.
WILPF Argentina Group focuses its energy on one of the biggest flaws of Argentinian society: domestic violence. While still organising its rebirth, WILPF Argentina Group has a long history of feminist activism and knows how to use WILPF’s structure to further advocate for women’s rights and promote peace on a local and global scale.
While it can be debated exactly when WILPF Canada was created, it is often considered to have been founded in 1921 by Social Democrats, including Lucy Woodsworth. In the 1930s six Canadian branches were already open: Vancouver, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, and Edmonton. Today, they are all represented under WILPF Canada.
WILPF Canada’s goals are to bring together women of different political beliefs and philosophies under the same determination to study, make known, and help abolish the causes and the legitimisation of war. Working towards world peace is at the core of all its actions. WILPF Canada strives towards creating a world free from weapons, and where a social, fair, and peaceful society will replace the current patriarchal logic that governs global politics.
WILPF Colombia, or LIMPAL Colombia, was created in 1998 and is one of WILPF’s most active Sections in South America. WILPF Colombia has been working for 20 years to promote women’s rights and a society based on the principles of peace, freedom, dignity, and social justice. In a country destabilised by violent internal conflict, WILPF Colombia aims to reconstruct the bonds of solidarity within Colombian society and advocate for a peaceful resolution.
Today, WILPF Colombia advocates at both a national and international level for a world free from conflict, and women participate as protagonists in peace processes. Regionally, it is an important promoter of UNSCR 1325. WILPF Colombia also raises awareness of the various resolutions, conventions, and declarations on human and women’s rights to further engage people to claim their rights when these are violated. Finally, at a more regional level, WILPF Colombia works to empower female community leaders and professionals who are engaged in the promotion of human and women’s rights. The Sections organise workshops on violence against women, political participation, conflict management, and disarmament.
WILPF Costa Rica was founded in 1981 with the aim of building a world without conflicts internationally, regionally, and also at a family level. In fact, while Costa Rica benefits from a better social, political, and economic context than many other Central and South American nations, the severe injustice and domestic violence faced by women is still one of the biggest issues within the country.
Among the numerous projects that WILPF Costa Rica has undertaken to promote a world free from violence, the Section has in recent years launched a vast campaign against gun toys. In a country in which there is no permanent army, WILPF Costa Rica sends a strong message: let’s not teach our children to fight—we neither need nor want soldiers.
MEET WILPF COSTA RICA ONLINE
Address: Avenida sexta Bis, N 1336, por calle 15, Costado Oeste de los Tribunales San José, Costa Rica Email: limpalcr (a) yahoo.es
WILPF Mexico—or LIMPAL Mexico in Spanish—was created in 2003 with the objectives of highlighting the causes of gender-based violence and playing a role in bringing about change. To this day, WILPF Mexico keeps on working to promote women’s rights, denounce the high rate of femicide in Mexico, and push the Government to commit to a National Action Plan for the implementation of UNSCR 1325.
WILPF Mexico is particularly active in organising educational workshops in communities with low economic resources and in rural areas. The Section also presents its work within schools in order to engage younger generations in advocating for gender equality, women’s rights, and the culture of peace more generally.
WILPF US was founded in 1915 after representatives were sent to The Hague for the historic International Women’s Congress for Peace and Freedom. From WWI to the Afghanistan war, WILPF US has advocated against violence and for a peaceful resolution of conflicts. At the core of WILPF US has always been the aim to establish sustainable peace and justice for all.
Under the leadership of member-volunteers, the Section runs different programmes through its branches and Issue Committees. The work of the Section spans from campaigns to abolish corporate constitutional rights, issuing statements opposing war and the use of weapons of mass destruction to a range of environmental issues. In so doing, WILPF US aims to provide continuity with the past so that knowledge of historical events and patterns informs current activities for change; create analysis and actions that reflect and reinforce each other; link and challenge root causes of oppression, especially racism, sexism, heterosexism, militarism, economic disparity, and political disempowerment; build and strengthen relationships and movements for justice, peace, and radical democracy.