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Human Rights Day: Peace is contingent on human security

In a world where war, violence, and inequalities persist, WILPF members are working on every continent to build peaceful communities.

Image credit: WILPF
WILPF International Secretariat
10 December 2020

In a world where war, violence, and inequalities persist, WILPF members are working on every continent to build peaceful communities. Our vision of feminist peace means making a world where everyone can enjoy a decent livelihood; health; freedom from violence; a flourishing natural environment; and so much more. Because of this, human rights and social justice have always been at the center of our work. 

These human rights were legally enshrined 72 years ago, when the world’s governments ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This document begins by stating that “the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”. Decades later, we believe that this recognition is still vital. Without respect for and protection of human rights, it is not possible to have peace that is grounded and everlasting.

So today, for Human Rights Day, we directly asked WILPF members: “What do peace and security mean to you?” 

WILPF members from around the world – including from Colombia, Australia, Lebanon, Japan, Kenya, and Spain – reflect on peace and security and what can make this vision a reality. Watch our new video to hear directly from them about the world we are creating together.

Watch our Human Rights Day video on YouTube.

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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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Demilitarisation

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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