Start a Section
First of all, congratulations on your decision to start a WILPF Section! The National Sections are an essential component of WILPF as they:
- Share and adopt the vision of the total organisation and its democratic participatory way of work
- Carry out the decisions of Congress and of the International Board at the national level through their programmes and grassroots activities in a way that is appropriate to their national condition
- Create a space, where the national members take part in determining the policies and programmes of the international organisation
- Provide support for the international structure by paying Section fees, sharing information and ideas for action
Of course you don’t start a Section just like that. Starting a Section is a longer process.
The first step to becoming a WILPF National Section is to be officially recognized as a WILPF National Group.
To be successful in forming a group in your country, you need to engage your community and discuss:
- Shared concerns of women, peace and security issues within your country
- How you can adapt and realise WILPF’s international vision and work in your country
At the same time, you have to reach out to your communities to develop a broad membership base. It is important that it consists of women from various backgrounds. Different cultural, economic, linguistic, ethnic, and ability backgrounds are always welcome in WILPF.
When you are in the process of creating a new Group from scratch, it is often a great help to be in contact with nearby WILPF Sections or already established Groups. This can both solve problems as they arise and provide sisterly support in the start-up-phase period.
In the infographic below you will find the step-by-step process on how to become a WILPF National Group.
For discussing this opportunity further, please send an email to WILPF International Secretariat at membership(a)wilpf.ch and we will put you in touch the person within the Executive Committee acting as a liaison in your region or with the nearest WILPF Section.
Applications for admission as new sections will be considered at the International Congress in 2018. Requirements for admissions are:
- The group has at least ten members, who have paid their membership fee.
- There is only one group representing WILPF in each country.
- The group has elected officers who assume specific responsibilities, including a President and Treasurer.
- A plan for activities is in place and working, keeping in mind the connection with WILPF’s international programme focus.
- The emerging Section must decide on general guidelines, such as how to deal with finances. The international treasurer sends the emerging Section the financial guidelines and discusses the realistic possibility of a Section fee. As a general rule, emerging Sections do not need to pay a contribution to WILPF International during the first year. However, during this time, the Section should take the opportunity to plan how it can meet its financial obligations from the second year onwards. A National Section shall be entitled to representation at the International Congress when its dues are paid to the end of the previous calendar year. WILPF International, if needed, will cover travel costs for one member.
- The group cannot vote at international meetings until it is accepted as a Section, but may receive all mailings sent to Sections.
- Each group must know the travel guidelines, which will be provided by the International Treasurer.
- Application for admission is sent to the Secretary General, the Executive Committee and the International Board. The International Congress will then consider the application for admission on their recommendation.
Once the International Congress accepts the application of a new National Section, the implementation phase should include:
- An email from WILPF International will introduce the new Section to the existing Sections.
- A work plan covering the Section’s programme should be made and a budget prepared.
- A member should be elected to represent the Section on the International Board.
- An official Section report should be prepared.
- After admission, the Section should use WILPF’s trademark and logo on letterheads, in publications, etc. It is important that the Section uses the approved logos etc., so that it is clear to everyone that the section is an official WILPF Section. In consultation with WILPF International, new Sections can open a website and update their Facebook, Twitter accounts. WILPF International will provide the Section with logos, advice, tips on how-to-do and other handy stuff.
- Good facilitators should be identified to enable meetings and workshops to flow well.
- Those skilled in conflict resolution/mediation who can be used as a resource during international meetings should be identified.
- International Board representatives and others attending international meetings should communicate with Section members as to meeting content.
- Skill building workshops should be held regularly to improve communication.
- The Section will be encouraged to read, watch and use the WILPF publications, videos and other communications materials, which will be provided to the Sections regularly.
If you wish to start a new National Group then contact WILPF International Secretariat at membership(a)wilpf.org.