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New Guide: Using the Sustainable Development Goals to Advance Conflict Prevention and Peace

Discover WILPF’s guide for civil society organisations and activists on how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can help us advance our work on feminist peace.

Image credit: WILPF
WILPF International Secretariat
10 July 2020

Today, WILPF publishes a guide for civil society organisations and activists on how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can help us advance our work on feminist peace. 

A WILPF Guide to Leveraging the SDGs for Feminist Peace provides a framework for thinking about the SDGs from a feminist, anti-militarist perspective, and identifies entry points for advocacy on the national, regional, and global levels. It shows how feminist peace activists who work on the prevention of conflicts, advancement of human rights, and dismantling of systemic inequalities and barriers can engage with the SDGs framework.

“The Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda are critical to a future based on sustainability at its heart,” says Zarin Hamid, WPS Programme Manager. “But we cannot talk about sustainability without talking about human rights, the detrimental role of weapons on people and the planet, and women, who are more than half of the people of the world.”

The guide is grounded in years of work by current and former staff of WILPF’s Women, Peace and Security Programme on the issue of sustainable development. WILPF is currently engaged in global advocacy on the SDGs in its role as Global Organising Partner of the Women’s Major Group, and contributed to drafting its feminist position paper for the High-Level Political Forum.

With an eye towards implementation, this new guide shows the importance of rooting SDGs implementation in human rights, and also identifies the numerous challenges within the development space and SDGs framework. It also lays out the links between the SDGs and other frameworks, including the participation and prevention pillars of the Women, Peace and Security agenda.

This year, the world enters the Decade of Action on the SDGs. This timely guide is being published during the annual High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (7-16 July 2020), which is currently reviewing the first five years of progress, with another 10 years to go before 2030. This guide shows how activists can use the next ten years to advance our key priorities and build a feminist, peaceful future.

Download a PDF version of A WILPF Guide to Leveraging the SDGs for Feminist Peace.

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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.

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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