Stories of Feminist Peace


Stories of Feminist Peace

© 2023 WILPF All Rights Reserved


Editorial Director – Nina Maria Mørk Hansen
Creative Team: Ananya, Adélaïde Barat, Elena Cason
Writer – Emily Dontsos
Designer – Nadia Joubert
Website Development – Pierre Joubert

Thank you to Jamila Afghani, Madeleine Rees, Maria Butler, and Anna Brown (“Changing the narrative on Afghanistan”), Jenny Aulin and Elena Cason (“Celebrating new groups and major milestones”), Rola Al-Masri, Yasmine Hassan, and Jenny Aulin (“Building the movement through cross-border solidarity”), Maria Butler and Anna Brown (“A year of learning and unlearning together”), Ray Acheson (“Linking militarism and the environment”), Laila Aldoaat, Rola Al-Masri, and Yasmine Hassan (“Towards a future of feminist peace in Yemen”), Adélaïde Barat (“Launch of the Caesura podcast”), Dean Peacock (“Shining a light on militarised masculinities”), Genevieve Riccoboni and Zarin Hamid (“Taking action for gender equality”), and Ray Acheson and Patrizia Scannella (“Exposing the human rights impacts of arms”) for their help in writing the stories of change and providing feedback.

Photo contributions by: Rea Djurovic, WILPF Sections and Groups in Aotearoa, Australia, Austria, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Japan/Kyoto Branch, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Togo, US/Des Moines Branch. Photos from WILPF Archives, WILPF International Secretariat

Videos contributions by: The Story



Since the conflict in Ukraine erupted in 2014, WILPF has worked closely with Ukrainian women activists and networks to call attention to the obstacles they face and elevate their voices, experiences, and demands for change. This work has been directly supported by WILPF staff members and volunteers embedded in Ukraine, as well as staff and volunteers working with Sections in surrounding countries and around the world.

With this strong foundation of activism and advocacy for peace in Ukraine already in place, we were able to quickly mobilise when Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Since that time, we have worked relentlessly to demand de-escalation of the conflict and people-centred solutions for peace.

“As an organisation dedicated to peace, demanding that disputes be regulated by law, not the insanity of who can kill and destroy the most, we, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and many allies, set out below steps that should be taken immediately by the member states of the Security Council to satisfy their legal obligations pursuant to the UN Charter.”

Latest News about Ukraine



In 2022, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparked new fears of nuclear war — and drew attention to the urgent need to abolish nuclear weapons.

To help empower WILPF members and people around the world to call for an end to nuclear weapons, we launched Russia, Ukraine, and Nuclear Dangers — a new digital tool sharing accessible information about the current situation, recommended actions, frequently asked questions, and additional resources for ongoing learning.

In addition to this new tool, throughout the year WILPF’s disarmament programme team, Reaching Critical Will, continued to raise awareness of the dangers of nuclear weapons through a series of articles and ongoing monitoring and advocacy efforts.

Read more: 

Testimony from our programmes

“In mid 2022, WILPF’s Mobilising Men for Feminist Peace (MMFP) initiative partnered with the Gender and Small Arms Control Coalition (GENSAC) to produce a report on men, masculinities and the gendered dimensions of small arms control. This report has since been launched at the UN’s Eighth Biennial Meeting of States on the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms held in New York in June of 2022 and in online webinars. Reaching Critical Will (RCW)’s expertise and support was critical in making all of this possible. With funding for an additional two years, WILPF’s MMFP initiative will work with RCW to deepen our work challenging the nexus of militarized masculinities and the arms industry.”

Dean Peacock, Director, Countering Militarized Masculinities, Mobilising Men for Feminist Peace (MMFP)

Opening message

Despite the challenges that 2022 brought to the world, here at WILPF, it was a year that saw our movement for feminist peace grow and deepen like never before.

We welcomed 10 new Sections into our global community — nearly all from across the African continent.

We deepened our advocacy efforts for a disarmed future, for a liveable future, and for a future where all people thrive in justice and equality.

We got creative. More than ever before, we shared knowledge and analysis through podcasts, videos, documentaries, and even a photo competition to reach ever-growing audiences.

At our 33rd International Congress, members from all over the world connected across borders and recommitted to our renewed vision: of a world where the planet and all of its inhabitants flourish in harmony.

A world where peace is not only possible, but a daily reality — for everyone.

It was a year that reaffirmed WILPF’s crucial role as the world’s largest and oldest movement for feminist peace — a global community that spans countries, continents, and generations, whose collective work is driving constant unrelenting progress.

It’s all showcased here, in Stories of Feminist Peace 2022.

Thank you so much for reading, watching, listening, and discovering. 

And however you’re involved with WILPF, thank you for being by our side on this journey. 

We couldn’t do it without you.



From 16 to 24 July 2022, WILPF members from all over the world united virtually for the 33rd International Congress.

Over nine incredible days hosted by WILPF Australia, more than 400 feminist peace activists connected with one another across borders and time zones, engaged in meaningful discussions about our work and movement, and reaffirmed the values we all share.

Together, we set WILPF on the path to a future of extraordinary growth and impact. We officially adopted WILPF’s new International Programme for 2022–2025, welcomed a new International President and International Board members, brought 10 new Sections into the fold, eight of which are from across the African continent, and so much more.

We also celebrated the incredible leadership of the Young WILPF Network as they engaged in creative ways with International Congress and stepped forward with a bold and necessary vision to advance equity and inclusion across the movement.

Read a full recap of the 33rd International Congress and view our wrap-up video below for a glimpse at what we got up to!

Highlights of WILPF’s newly adopted International Programme 2022–2025

Our new International Programme for 2022–2025, adopted at the 33rd International Congress, is now guiding the work, values, and actions of the entire WILPF movement.

It unites our diverse, global members and staff in a shared vision and renewed goals, rooted in our current context and developed through a deeply participatory process.

Key highlights of the new International Programme

A renewed and rearticulated vision

An updated set of values that reflect the movement we are today and the movement we strive to become, including the values of anti-racism and ecological sustainability

A new “Feminist Path to Peace,” which identifies our key actions and goals

A commitment to strengthening WILPF as an organisation and movement through a series of actions and strategies

Welcoming a formal commitment to anti-racism

Emerging from International Congress, the WILPF community identified an opportunity to formally declare our commitment to anti-racism.

To guide our efforts to take proactive steps to identify, understand, address, and eventually overcome the causes and manifestations of structural racism within our movement, we developed and published WILPF’s commitment to becoming an anti-racist movement. We invite you to read it and join us on our journey!

Read the full International Programme 2022–2025



In 2022, we took bold action for the future of the planet.

At the United Nations’ milestone Stockholm+50 conference, WILPF International Secretariat and WILPF Sweden hosted a panel discussion about the impacts of militarism and military activity on the environment. Members from across the WILPF movement also participated in protests, exhibitions, and many other activities drawing attention to the urgent need for action.

At COP27, our delegation of 10 feminist peace activists from around the world came together in Sharm El-Sheikh to advocate for climate action rooted in demilitarisation and gender justice.

We endorsed the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, joining hundreds of thousands of individuals, organisations, scientists, cities, and governments in a global call for a treaty to ensure a quick and effective shift away from the use of fossil fuels.

And during Environment Month, we launched a brand-new webpage devoted to our work on the environment — including information about our approach to environmental justice and ways to get involved.

Recognising that peace is not possible without environmental justice, we also embedded our commitment to feminist climate action and environmental advocacy directly into our new International Programme 2022–2025 — a bold step that will guide our ongoing efforts to take action for a more liveable future in everything we do.

Linking climate justice and demilitarisation

To learn more about WILPF’s efforts to link climate justice with demilitarisation, watch our video.

Environment events

Testimony from our programmes

“The work of the Environment Working Group has been inspirational. Over the past years the Working Group has really intensified its activities and help us all at WILPF to advance our thinking on how climate and environment justice are a precondition for peace. From the participation in Stockholm+50 to the COP27, the campaigning and activism of members of the Working Group have been a stark reminder that women from the grassroot to the international level are leading the work for sustainable peace. The fact that we now have more interactive content and events on the connections between environment, gender, and militarism also puts us in a unique place to connect, interact and build relationships with new potential members and networks. The Environment Working Group is playing a key role in nourishing and growing our global movement, which is at the heart of our daily work in the Membership team.”

Elena Cason, Membership Coordinator


Women, Peace and Security: Global engagement, national impact

How can we harness the tremendous knowledge, experiences, and expertise of WILPF’s global community to advocate for a holistic, feminist, and antimilitarist implementation of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda at the national level, including through National Action Plans (NAPs)?

Seeking to answer this question, in September 2022 WILPF’s WPS Programme (also known as PeaceWomen) facilitated a series of virtual roundtables that created spaces for WILPF members, partners, and staff to share direct experiences and knowledge on the topic of NAPs and WPS.

Grounded in the priorities of the new International Programme, each session encouraged participants to explore a series of questions about civil society’s role in NAPs, the content of NAPs and our shared goals in advocating for them, and implementation and financing.

The findings emerging from these sessions will serve as the groundwork for ongoing advocacy efforts that link local knowledge produced by Sections and partners to global impact — amplified by the PeaceWomen team’s role as a connector and facilitator.

A snapshot of key findings

The lack of effective, meaningful, substantive inclusion of civil society is a major factor that CSOs believe has hindered progress towards implementation of NAPs. It is also a direct contradiction to the participation pillar of the WPS agenda itself.

Lack of knowledge about the WPS agenda limits participation from broad civil society; it even hinders government actors from understanding how to develop and implement a comprehensive NAP.

There is a misconception that NAPs are primarily useful for countries that are experiencing armed conflict, and are not necessarily needed during “peacetime.”

Lack of knowledge about the WPS agenda limits participation from broad civil society; it even hinders government actors from understanding how to develop and implement a comprehensive NAP.

Some NAPs suffer from a lack of qualitative metrics, and focus on quantifying things in ways that don’t reflect women’s experiences and lives. Many lack sufficient financing or staffing for implementation.

There are persistently colonial ways of thinking about WPS, including a focus on development and “helping” women abroad with no internal reflection on their domestic situation.

Civil society can face barriers to engaging in discussions around “security” because security is seen as an area for government actors only, due to its military connotations.

The roundtables welcomed participants from 26 countries around the world!



In our quest to mobilise men for feminist peace, 2022 brought the stories and voices of male allies to the eyes, ears, and hearts of people around the world.


Power On Patrol:

A new documentary on the making and unmaking of militarised masculinities.



A photographic exploration of the relationship between masculinities, conflict and peace, violence and care.



A wealth of new research, reviews, and analysis that seeks to strengthen our understanding of militarised masculinities and strategies to mobilise men for feminist peace.


Power on Patrol

A new documentary on the making and unmaking of militarised masculinities.


A photographic exploration of the relationship between masculinities, conflict and peace, violence and care.


A wealth of new research, reviews, and analysis that seeks to strengthen our understanding of militarised masculinities and strategies to mobilise men for feminist peace.



In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, WILPF has been standing firm with women’s rights organisations, feminist grassroots initiatives, and other women-led initiatives to help build a vibrant feminist movement and advance a future of peace, justice, and equality for all. This work is primarily led by the MENA team, a diverse group of staff members located across the MENA region and around the world.

As a movement, our goal is to find and support localised solutions to the interconnected systems of oppression that fuel constant cycles of conflict, displacement, climate catastrophes, and other crises in the region.

Here, we invite you to explore just a few of our recent projects and initiatives to advance a future of feminist peace in the MENA region.

Side by Side on the Journey to Feminist Peace in Syria

Within the challenging context of the MENA region — political instability, cross-border insecurities, and failure of the rule of law — women activists are encountering multifaceted barriers to meaningful participation in conflict prevention, resolution, and post-conflict transition.

These barriers include insufficient and inconsistent funding policies common to donor-led funding practices, which have forced many not-for-profit and civil society organisations with feminist agendas to neglect their long-term feminist goals in favour of short-term projects that align with donor priorities.
Seeking to find an alternative to these traditional and ineffective top-down approaches, several years ago WILPF developed the Holistic Feminist Resourcing Approach. Through a combination of flexible funding, tailored technical support, and a range of networking and coordination opportunities, the approach aims to support organisations with feminist values and agendas to work towards their visions, while acknowledging their complex realities and diverse needs.

In 2022, we published an engaging and in-depth look at how the Holistic Feminist Resourcing Approach was applied to the Feminist Movement for Change in Syria project, which launched in 2018. By sharing insights, feedback, and learnings from the project, we hope to demonstrate how creative, flexible approaches to funding and support can foster long-term feminist peace

Read the publication

Breaking down barriers to feminist knowledge in Arabic

When WILPF partners in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region expressed a need for a platform of feminist knowledge in Arabic, we got right to work.

In 2022, we officially launched the MENA Hub — a new online platform sharing accessible, contextualised feminist resources rooted in the unique dynamics and challenges of the region.

Available in both Arabic and English, all resources on the MENA Hub have been developed by WILPF’s MENA Team and different programmes, our partners in the MENA region, or through collaborative efforts with feminist activists in the region and the global diaspora.

Check out the MENA Hub!

Hear directly from feminist activists in the MENA region

In addition to the MENA Hub, WILPF’s MENA Team also launched a new podcast called Political Is Personal. We invite you to listen to hear feminist activists in the region discuss personal, social, and political issues within the framework of achieving sustainable feminist peace.

Online Violence Against Women in the MENA Region: ‘I have the right to be safe’

Learn more about WILPF’s wide-reaching work in the MENA region in 2022 and beyond.

Testimony from our programmes

“We are proud to have worked side by side with our MENA programme sisters over the years to bring the perspectives of feminists from MENA into the spaces where their voices most need to be heard. Arabic language resources on issues relating to WPS, conflict prevention, gender-based violence, and other themes are so critical for advancing WPS agenda implementation in the region. The MENA Hub is an invaluable resource that will support feminist activists and women peacebuilders to strengthen their work for peace and human rights.”

Genevieve Riccoboni, Women, Peace and Security Programme Associate



Think & Resist: Conversations about Feminism and Peace

Think & Resist: Conversations about Feminism and Peace explores how feminism can redefine security. Each episode features representatives from WILPF’s Women, Peace and Security and Disarmament teams moderating discussions with experts about different themes in international peace and security from a feminist lens. The conversations explore relevant policymaking and practice, identify opportunities and gaps, and recommend ways to advance change.   

This podcast seeks to expand your awareness and understanding of how global security challenges and gender inequalities intersect, with a focus on the overlap between the WPS agenda and disarmament work.


What about Think & Resist?

What about Peace and Disarmament?

What about the Arms Trade?

What about Masculinity and Militarism?

What about Women, Peace, and Digital (In)security?

What about the Ecological Crisis?



“WILPF has shown numerous times how the “regulated” or “legal” arms trade with end users that include armies, police, and state security services is connected to a high risk of human rights violations. Arms transfers and small arms availability is also linked to violent masculinities and the heightened levels of militarisation within communities. This means that arms are correlated with an increase in gendered inequality and a generalised culture of violence, often with specific gendered impacts. Violence against women and girls increases along with militarisation, often as a result of exacerbating hegemonic masculinities.”

From WILPF’s submission to the Human Rights Committee’s pre-session on Egypt, February 2022

To achieve peace, we must disarm.

At WILPF, advocating for disarmament and demilitarisation is central to our efforts to build a future of feminist peace. When weapons exist and proliferate in the name of security, insecurity persists and human rights become increasingly at risk — particularly those of women and other marginalised populations.

In 2022, WILPF’s Human Rights Programme team engaged in intensive advocacy efforts to draw attention to the human rights impacts of small arms and light weapons as well as the Arms Trade Treaty.

Some of the key outcomes of these efforts include:

  • The OHCHR report to the 51st regular session of the Human Rights Council reflected several of the issues raised in a submission from WILPF, including references to the human rights responsibilities of the arms industry.
  • The CEDAW Committee asked France to report on “measures taken to assess the risk of violation of human rights, including the right to freedom of expression, opinion and association,” among other requests.
  • The Human Rights Committee requested that Egypt provide information on several issues raised in a submission from WILPF, including a question on “allegations of the unnecessary and excessive use of lethal force against, and mass arrests, censorship and random security checks of, peaceful protesters.”
  • The UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights developed written guidance for States and businesses on the human rights responsibilities of the arms industry.

Read our 2022 submissions on arms and human rights:

Testimony from our programmes

“We brought our expertise in human rights and disarmament together, bridging together different perspectives for shared goals. As a result of our collaborative ways of working, we learnt about disarmament processes and shared our insights into human rights mechanisms. Our collaborative work in resolutions of the Human Rights Council (HRC) for example enabled disarmament organisations and activists to learn about and engage in initiatives taking place within the HRC space. In sum, the collaboration between our programmes has helped to bridge the gap between the human rights and disarmament communities, providing a more holistic approach to disarmament overall.”

Laura Varella, Reaching Critical Will Associate



The Peace That is Not



As the world turned its attention to the war in Ukraine, we never stopped advocating for the people of Afghanistan.

On the heels of the Taliban’s brutal takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, the country continued to descend into a historic humanitarian crisis in 2022. We implored the international community not to look away even as new crises unfolded elsewhere.

From submissions to the UN Human Rights Council to calls for action shared loud and clear with our global audience, we urged the immediate flow of humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan and demanded that the voices of Afghan women and girls — those most impacted by the crisis — be at the front and centre of humanitarian missions, negotiations, and peace talks.

To advance these efforts in 2023 and beyond, last year we hosted a convening of 32 Afghan women activists from inside and outside Afghanistan. Together, they established a plan to create the Afghan Women Umbrella Platform — an initiative devoted to facilitating the coordination of women’s networks and coalitions inside Afghanistan and around the world. Following months of planning and mobilising, the platform will officially launch later in 2023.

We also continued to work side-by-side with the staff, volunteers, and members of WILPF Afghanistan as the Section worked to address the critical needs of Afghan women and girls from exile.

Celebrating WILPF’s Vice President Jamila Afghani, Winner of the 2022 Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity

In October, we were proud to celebrate the tireless efforts and impact of one of our own when Jamila Afghani, President of WILPF Afghanistan and Vice President of WILPF, was named the 2022 winner of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity.

Jamila, who was forced to flee Afghanistan during the Taliban takeover and recently settled in Canada, received the honour in recognition of her work with WILPF in Afghanistan and the Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organization (NECDO).

Read our interview with Jamila to learn more about her work on behalf of the people of Afghanistan and why she’s optimistic about the future.

“In the long-term, I’m definitely hopeful. Afghanistan is our country, our responsibility, and we have to ensure Afghanistan can stand on its feet again.”

Jamila Afghani, President of WILPF Afghanistan and Vice President of WILPF

Discover our recent stories, statements, submissions, policy briefs, and open letters on Afghanistan.

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