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Remembering Diane Brace

19 February 2018

Diane Brace

WILPF would like to extend our deepest condolences at the loss of London member Diane Brace. Please see tributes from her friends and her obituary below.

Tributes to Diane: 

“Diane made a valuable contribution to UKWILPF; She was lively, energetic and enthusiastic and helped to encourage young women to participate.” – Margaret Turner

“I admired Diane in all her many professional roles but I also valued her greatly as a friend. She had suffered terrible personal loss but she remained strong, challenging, committed and without a trace of sentimentality. She was a quite exceptional woman.” – Jane Grant

“Diane was excellent at writing minutes and reports, and informing members of what was happening. One of the highlights of London WILPF in the 2000s was the annual summer garden party that Diane organised, often women came who had not been seen at the evening meetings. She was very supportive to Voices of African Women in particular to highlighting human rights abuses in Congo.

In 2008 the London branch had a meeting in Portcullis House in regards to changing law on prostitution with Harriet Harman and this brought a number of groups to the roundtable meeting with Josephine Butler trust, and London Feminists. Diane cheered on by many young WILPFers took part in 5k challenge in Hyde Park in 2010.

Diane and I took part in Stop the Traffick events in 2012. In 2012 Diane helped write briefings with Jane Grant and myself on sex trafficking due to Olympics taking place, this was held in London Assembly in City Hall with Labour Assembly member Len Duval.

In addition to Diane’s work with her local Labour party, UK Wilpf, she set up University of the 3rd Age classes in her home in 2014 on debate and politics.

Diane had great energy and was very articulate, she enjoyed watching wildlife and used to feed local ducks. She was a great patron of her local theatre, enjoyed music and had a great sense of humour. She was a regular at Edinburgh fringe accompanying her grandson Adam Brace who is a successful playwright. She loved meeting people from all the world, and exchanging ideas.

Diane would say to me, that she did not feel her age of 80, sadly in 2013 her health deteriorated and she had a mild stroke. Her eyesight was affected and reading became difficult. In 2016 leukaemia was diagnosed which treatment was very limited. Diane was very open about it, and felt very tired.

At her memorial held at Islington Town Hall, a number of friends described her generosity on many occasions, as well as her speed and success at organising so many activities in working to improve peoples’ lives. She was a great supporter of local youth project Friends of Rose Bowl.” – Alexandra Murrell

Please see Diane’s obituary: Obituary of Diane Brace written by Alexandra Murrell.

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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

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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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