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Scottish WILPF Members Participate in Anti-Trident Rally

7 March 2016

On 27 February, Scottish WILPF members joined around 70,000 people for what has been dubbed the biggest anti-nuclear rally in a generation in London. The demonstration, organised by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament was to protest against the Conservative UK Government’s plans to replace its Trident nuclear programme.

Flying the flag
Scottish WILPF members Anne Scott and Penny Wells at the Stop Trident March in London on 27 February. They were among the 70,000 individuals who turned out to protest Trident replacement. Photo credit: Penny Wells
Trident is immoral and costly

Scottish WILPF members have been protesting Trident for decades, yet the UK Government continues to house the submarines at Faslane, 40km north of Glasgow and plans to spend billions on replacing the ageing fleet.

“£180 billion, at a time when one in four children in Scotland live in poverty and under the Conservative Westminster Government the use of foodbanks in Scotland has increased 300 times, is an immoral expenditure,” says WILPF UK member Anne Scott, who lives in Edinburgh.

The UK Government refuses to participate in multilateral nuclear disarmament talks

Conspicuous by their absence, the UK Government refused to attend the United Nation’s first session of the ‘open-ended working group’ on ‘taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations’, which began on 22 February 2016 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

The most recent proposal on the table is a treaty banning nuclear weapons, which would prohibit the use, deployment, transporting and stockpiling of nuclear weapons. This is advocated as the next step by a growing number of governments, as well as the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a network of over 400 civil society organisations in 98 countries, of which WILPF is a partner organisation.

Meanwhile in the UK

On 4 March, UK defence secretary Michael Fallon announced a further £642m increase in spending on the replacement of Trident, increasing the money already spent on the programme to £3.9 billion. This is despite a parliamentary vote on whether to go ahead with the programme being scheduled for later this year.

Trident is dangerous

Trident-2The humanitarian and environmental consequences of any use of nuclear weapons are well understood. 50 per cent of Scotland’s 2.5 million people live within 60km of Faslane. According to Scottish WILPF’s Anne Scott, “an accident at Faslane could destroy the whole of central Scotland.”

“I do not like living in the blast zone of a nuclear weapon. Trident is a weapon of mass destruction, it should not be replaced.”

The humanitarian and environmental consequences of any use of nuclear weapons are well understood. WILPF believes that replacing Trident means increasing the threat that nuclear weapons will be used again, whether by accident, miscalculation or design.

WILPF will keep following the issue closely. Keep an eye on this website or follow us at Reaching Critical Will to stay updated.


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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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