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That’s a Wrap on WILPF’s 33rd International Congress! 

WILPF’s 33rd International Congress has officially come to an end after nine incredible days!

Image credit: WILPF
WILPF International Secretariat
25 July 2022

WILPF’s 33rd International Congress has officially come to an end after nine incredible days! 

Hosted by WILPF Australia, the event welcomed more than 400 members from all over the world under the theme: “Making Connections: Environment, Social Justice, and Demilitarisation for Feminist Peace.”

From workshops, hosted by members, to networking events to discussion spaces and more, participants connected with one another, engaged in meaningful dialogue about the challenges before us, and reflected on past achievements while reaffirming their collective commitment to pursuing a future of feminist peace.

Fifteen thematic workshops covered topics from ecofeminism to killer robots to feminist economies of care during the nine days. The weekend sessions were dedicated to eight plenary sessions, in which organisational priorities were at the centre of the discussion. 

During the plenary, Section delegates and the International Board voted to adopt WILPF’s new International Programme and new resolutions, agreed on updates to WILPF’s Constitution and By-Laws, and welcomed a new International Board. Ten new Sections joined WILPF. 

Read on for everything you need to know after the video. 

Introducing WILPF’s new International Programme (2022–2025)

WILPF’s new International Programme was officially adopted at Congress! 

Developed through a collaborative process open to all members and staff from across the globe, the new International Programme unites WILPF’s community in a shared strategic direction for the next three years. 

Guiding our collective actions at the local, national, regional, and international levels, the International Programme reflects the current context in which we are working and lays out our feminist path to peace. Over the next three years, all of WILPF will work in three main action areas, namely Challenging Systems & Structures of Oppression, Promoting Inclusive & Peaceful solutions to Conflict, and Strengthening Feminist Peace Activism. The Programme also offers guidance on how members can begin the process of adapting it to their local contexts. 

More information about the International Programme will be shared directly with members in the weeks ahead. 

Welcome to our new International Board members! 

Following this year’s Congress, we’re thrilled to announce our next International Board and excited to announce that Sylvie Ndongmo of WILPF Cameroon is stepping into the role of International President. Taking the reins from Joy Onyesoh, who has served as International President for the past four years, Sylvie Ndongmo will oversee the International Board’s leadership and governance of WILPF, including WILPF achieves its aims and principles between Triennial Congresses. 

The new members include: 

  • Sylvie Ndongmo of WILPF Cameroon as International President
  • Jamila Afghani of WILPF Afghanistan as Vice-President
  • Melissa Torres of WILPF US as Vice-President
  • Janette McLeod of WILPF Australia as International Treasurer 

Regional representatives:

  • Annie Matundu Mbambi (WILPF DRC) as Regional Representative for Africa
  • Edwick Madzimure (WILPF Zimbabwe) as Alternate Regional Representative for Africa
  • Janet Slagter (WILPF US) as Regional Representative for Americas
  • Beatriz Schulthess (WILPF Costa Rica) as Alternate Regional Representative for Americas
  • Ludmilla Kwitko (WILPF Australia) as Regional Representative for Asia-Pacific
  • Celine Kearney (WILPF Aotearoa) as Alternate Regional Representative for Asia-Pacific
  • Ariana Durani (WILPF Sweden) as Regional Representative for Europe
  • Rosa Logar (WILPF Austria) as Alternate Regional Representative for Europe
  • Hanan Awwad (WILPF Palestine) as Regional Representative for MENA
  • Diala Chehade (WILPF Lebanon) as Alternate Regional Representative for MENA
  • Pushpa Motiyani (WILPF India) as Alternate Regional Representative for South Asia

WILPF welcomes 10 new Sections!

The movement continues to grow! This year’s Congress officially welcomed 10 new Sections to WILPF’s global community of feminist peace activists.  

If you cannot read the map, is here a list for you: 

  • WILPF Argentina
  • WILPF Austria
  • WILPF Burkina Faso 
  • WILPF Burundi 
  • WILPF CAR
  • WILPF Côte d’Ivoire
  • WILPF Guinée
  • WILPF Niger
  • WILPF Sudan
  • WILPF Togo

New resolutions adopted to the Constitution and By-laws 

Congress also adopted seven new resolutions, which are now undergoing translation and will be published as soon as possible. The same goes for updates agreed on in the WILPF Constitution and By-Laws. 

Thank you to everyone who joined us!

WILPF’s 33rd International Congress was an incredible opportunity for our global community to reunite, engage across geographic boundaries, and strengthen our resolve to work for a future of feminist peace, justice, equality, and human rights for all. 

Thank you to everyone who joined us, and we can’t wait to see you at the next Congress!

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WILPF International Secretariat

WILPF International Secretariat, with offices in Geneva and New York, liaises with the International Board and the National Sections and Groups for the implementation of WILPF International Programme, resolutions and policies as adopted by the International Congress. Under the direction of the Secretary-General, the Secretariat also provides support in areas of advocacy, communications, and financial operations.

Melissa Torres

VICE-PRESIDENT

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 WILPF US’ Practicum in Advocacy Programme at the United Nations. She holds a PhD in Social Work and currently works at the University of Texas as the Director of Human Trafficking Research at one of the university’s think tanks. Of Mexican descent, born on the US and Mexican border, and raised between the two countries, Melissa is mostly concerned with the protection of displaced Latinxs in the Americas. She is also involved with the American Red Cross as a volunteer, trainer, and researcher focused on post-disaster aid distribution and work with undocumented Latinxs. 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

VICE-PRESIDENT

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

PRESIDENT

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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Demilitarisation

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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