Latest News

Press Release: The Women’s Peace Movement Is Uniting Under a New Peace Agenda for the 21st Century

30 April 2015

The women’s peace movement has pledged to commit to a new peace agenda for the 21st century, in a huge meeting of 1,000 women peace activists, facilitated by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom for its hundred year anniversary.

The Hague, the Netherlands – 27-29 April At the WILPF 2015 Conference ‘Women’s Power to Stop War’, women shared their stories from conflict zones and listened to each other’s calls for immediate action, calling on a new movement for change.

Conference participants expressed their disillusionment with international institutions, and reminded us of civil society’s power to affect change in a non-violent way. As Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi stated in the opening plenary, “if books had been thrown at the Taliban instead of bombs, we would not have Isis.”

With participants from over 80 countries and 80 organisations, including Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, Cofounder and Director of Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace Zahra’ Langhis, and Nobel Peace Laureates Leymah Gbowee, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi and Mairead Maguire, discussions were rich and wide ranging. Non-governmental organisations including Sonke Gender Justice, MADRE, and the Association of Women in Development (AWID) participated in sessions on topics from Women Confronting ISIS to Military versus Social Spending to a Consultation on the Women, Peace and Security High Level Review.

“It is clear that there is no unity without diversity. Our “why” is the same – we are united in our belief in demilitarisation and bringing peace. It’s just how we get there that may differ,” said WILPF Secretary General Madeleine Rees in the closing plenary of the conference.

This new movement promises to change the way we use the multilateral and economic systems, and how we approach militarisation, and outlined in the WILPF Manifesto which reaffirms WILPF’s work over the last 100 years. For example, MenEngage, an alliance of NGOs working together with men and boys to promote gender equality, pledged to work with the women’s peace movement, to move away from violent masculinities to one which elevates the roles played by the majority of men.

For this reason, they made sure not to have a passive conference, but to take back the streets, sending delegations to deliver petitions against the Yemen crisis to eleven embassies, just like the International Women’s Congress of 1915 did.

Photos of the conference can be downloaded at Flickr

For more information, please visit the Conference website or contact Communications Manager Nina Hansen on nhansen (a) or +41 (0) 22 919 70 80.

Share the post

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

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Mauris facilisis luctus rhoncus. Praesent eget tellus sit amet enim consectetur condimentum et vel ante. Nulla facilisi. Suspendisse et nunc sem. Vivamus ullamcorper vestibulum neque, a interdum nisl accumsan ac. Cras ut condimentum turpis. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia curae; Curabitur efficitur gravida ipsum, quis ultricies erat iaculis pellentesque. Nulla congue iaculis feugiat. Suspendisse euismod congue ultricies. Sed blandit neque in libero ultricies aliquam. Donec euismod eget diam vitae vehicula. Fusce hendrerit purus leo. Aenean malesuada, ante eu aliquet mollis, diam erat suscipit eros, in.


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.

Skip to content