Celebrating Feminists’ Voices, Inspiring Global Peace

Strengthening Accountability and Financing for Gender Equality and Peaceful Societies: 2016 High Level Political Forum

5 July 2016

In 2015, governments for the first time recognised that peace is part of sustainable development, by adopting Sustainable Development Goals including stand-alone goals on gender equality (Goal 5) and peace (Goal 16).

Next week, governments will meet for the first time to assess and review the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals at the 11-20 July High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) at UN Headquarters in New York.

2016 high-level political forum on sustainable development
Photo credit: sustainabledevelopment.un.org

As part of WILPF’s work to strengthen conflict prevention and promote accountability on gender equality and peace, WILPF will monitor the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF). We will also leverage this space to build momentum on strengthened accountability and financing of gender equality and peace with a workshop and side event on Women, Peace and Security Financing.

About the High Level Political Forum

The High Level Political Forum is the main accountability mechanism of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The priority theme this year is: “Ensuring that No One is Left Behind.”

The HLPF will result in a ministerial declaration as well as voluntary commitments. In addition, twenty-two member states will be submitting national voluntary reviews: China, Colombia, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Madagascar, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Norway, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, Togo, Turkey, Uganda, and Venezuela.

WILPF will monitor the High Level Political Forum for issues of gender equality and peace as part of our on-going conflict prevention work.

About the Workshop on Women, Peace and Security Financing
PeaceWomen Side Event WPS HLPF

WILPF – PeaceWomen Side Event at the HLPF “Ensuring that No One is Left Behind”

In addition to monitoring the HLPF, WILPF is leveraging this space to bring together women human rights defenders and peace activists working on security issues to mobilise together for strengthened accountability and financing for the Women, Peace and Security agenda.

We will host a two-day workshop on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Financing on 7-8 July in collaboration with a variety of partners including the Women’s Major Group and NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security. At the workshop, we will map financial flows available for gender equality and peace, share good practice examples in development and security arenas on strengthening WPS financing, and map strategies for building synergies and action for change.

We will also report back from the workshop at a side event oriented toward member states on Monday 11 July and share our findings and recommendations for action.

Get Involved!

Almost 9 months after the Global Study on UNSCR 1325 and more than 15 years after UNSCR 1325, it is time to move the money from a political economy of war to a political economy of gender justice and peace. The Sustainable Development Goals provide one clear opportunity for action.

There can be no development without disarmament and women’s full and equal human rights.

Join us in demanding that your government implement the SDGs through a women’s human rights lens for peace, and step up financing of gender equality and peaceful societies.

It is time to demand action. Join us!


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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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