Latest News

Remembering Olga Bianchi – World-Minded Feminist, Pacifist and WILPF Leader

12 February 2016
Olga joined WILPF (LIMPAL) Costa Rica in the early 1980s and served as WILPF’s Representative to the UN in Geneva.

​On Sunday 30 August 2015, Olga Bianchi, an indefatigable leader in the Chilean and Costa Rican feminist peace movement died of a series of heart attacks. Born on 11 December 1924 in Argentina, Olga lived her life between Chile and Costa Rica. In Chile she joined the resistance against the Pinochet dictatorship, using her film club to distribute illegal microfilms to spread human rights and pro-democracy messages. The dictatorship’s secret service discovered the network and she fled Chile with her children in tow in 1975, eventually settling in Costa Rica, thanks to the help of UNHCR.

A committed feminist Olga soon joined the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports in Costa Rica, and worked as a translator, professor and pacifist. She joined the Friends’ Peace Center (CAP) and WILPF (LIMPAL) Costa Rica in the early 1980s. She was also a board member of Amnesty International, Costa Rica and a founding member of the Committee for Human Rights (CODEHU).

Olga’s leadership in WILPF was long-lasting and impactful. She was twice International Vice-President of WILPF and also served as WILPF’s Representative to the UN in Geneva. She left an indelible print on the feminist peace movement in Costa Rica and in the Costa Rican section, where she mentored innumerable young women and budding feminists.

Aileen Bolanos Ulloa, a young Costa Rican WILPFer, said about Olga in Radio Feminista that “she fought all her life for the vindication of women and against dictatorships.” The Director of Radio Feminista, a fellow Chilean political exile, was quoted saying “Olga made of feminism an ideology for our daily lives, refusing to succumb to adversity. This is because she made joy a part of activism.”

Adilia Caravaca, former WILPF International President from WILPF Costa Rica, also added, “Olga’s standards of disciplined work for peace, with consistency along the years, and her ability to join in purpose with people from all kind of backgrounds were remarkable.”

en Fire
In 2008, the Feminist International Radio Endeavors organised a celebration of Olgas’s life and activism.

FIRE (the Feminist International Radio Endeavors) organised a tribute to Olga in occasion of International Women’s Day in 2008, when many organisations and friends joined to celebrate her life and activism at FIRE’s office in Ciudad Colón. After her death, Olga’s family and WILPF Costa Rica organised a memorial at the Friends’ Peace Center, where friends and colleagues gathered for a celebration of the legacy of her tenacious work.

WILPFers around the world mourn the loss of this indefatigable feminist leader, who never lost her optimism, even in the most adverse of circumstances.

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