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30 October 2012

We’ve just received the following important declaration from the Kosovo Women’s Network, with whom we are working. It is a call for the application of what the UN has said should happen after conflict and an invitation to a citizen’s protest on 3 November 2012, in Prishtina.

If the principles which underpin transitional justice are ignored – as they have been in the Balkans since the ostensible ending of the conflict – then there can be no justice and you cannot call this peace.

WILPF supports the legitimate calls of the Network for an apology, justice, reparation and truth about the fate of those missing and absolute guarantees of non-repetition.

Visit the Kosovo Women’s Network online here, or find them on Facebook here.

Logo for Kosovo Women's NetworkStatement for Justice and Dignity before negotations

We, the citizens of Kosova, united for “Justice and Dignity before Negotiations,” invite you to a citizens’ protest on Saturday 3, 2012 from 11-13 at Mother Theresa Square (in front of RINGS restaurant) in Prishtina.
Without meeting our demands, any negotiation with Serbia is unacceptable! These are the legitimate demands of a population that has experienced genocide. Human and state dignity are necessary conditions for entering into negotiations with Serbia!

Please see our declaration and demands below:

We are a people whose history has been forgotten or suppressed by international actors, and, more painfully, by our own political leaders;

We are the women and men, girls and boys who for more than ten years participated in peaceful, civil resistance with the dream that one day we would live in a democracy where our voice would be heard and our rights protected;

We are the people who have seen our life savings and property taken from us by a state that refuses to take responsibility for the crimes it committed against us;

We are a generation of youth who were denied the right to education for nearly a decade, causing irreparable damage to our employability;

We are a population who was denied the right to work, to healthcare, to peaceful protest, to speaking our native language, to singing our traditional songs, to our cultural heritage;

We are the families of the 1,765 persons still missing since the 1998-1999 war, who cry out for our loved ones to be found;

We are the families of innocent civilians murdered during the war; we are the victims of genocide perpetrated by the state of Serbia;

We are the brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers of the thousands of women and girls who were raped, as a weapon of war, perpetrated by the Serbian military, and who have yet to receive an apology, let alone justice;

We are human. And we stand together against any human rights violation perpetrated against us and our loved ones by police, military, and/or political leaders.

We have the right for our voices to be heard, and we have the right to organize peacefully in public spaces.

We wear red to represent the blood that was spilled in direct violations of our human rights, during the 1990s. And we demand:

1)    The return of all missing persons;

2)    A public apology by the Government of Serbia for the human rights violations carried out against the people of Kosovo during the 1990s, including rape as a weapon of war;
3)    Compensation for our life savings, as well as our stolen and destroyed property by the State of Serbia; and that

4)    Our political leaders, negotiators, and international stakeholders will ensure that our demands for justice for the human rights violations perpetrated against us are met.

Yours sincerely,
Igballe Rogova Kosova Womens Network
Nesrete Kumnova “Thirrjet e Nenave”

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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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