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The Extraordinary Life of WILPFer Lois Snow Is Now a Film

7 February 2013

“War is not healthy for children and other living things” reads the poster on the wall of Lois’s new flat in the closing shot of A Home Far Away.

Those few words are the metaphor of a lifetime spent engaging against war, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, death sentence and racial discrimination, as depicted in the historical movie A Home Far Away by Peter Entell. The documentary invites the viewer to explore the life of WILPFer Lois Snow, from the 1940s, when as a young Broadway and Hollywood actress she meets her husband, Edgar Snow, to today.

A Home Far Away

YouTube video

The movie opens with 90-year old Lois, who looks at some old albums and documents, while she remembers her past and thinks that her beautiful house in Switzerland is going to be raised to the ground and she is going to move to a new flat.

The extraordinary story of her life begins when she meets the world acclaimed journalist Edgar Snow, who becomes her husband in 1949. Edgar Snow is the first Western journalist to have accessed a forbidden area in China to meet, interview and film Mao Tse-tung and Chou En-lai at a time when they were considered bandits by the local government. He is also the author of the controversial book Red Star over China, which is an account of the Chinese Communist movement from its foundation until the late 1930s.

Under McCarthy, both Lois and her husband are blacklisted due to their fascination for the Middle Country and their allegedly communist sympathies. They are harassed by the FBI and in 1959 they leave the US to go into exile in Switzerland and never return to America.

Lois and China

Lois goes to China for the first time with her husband in 1970 and she is amazed by the warm welcome they receive from Mao. But Edgar is deceived by the opportunities Mao’s Revolution has missed in eradicating poverty, illiteracy, famine and corruption.

Two years after the travel to China, Edgar dies of cancer, but Lois continues to write articles and deal with Mao, the Chines authorities and the international press.

However, her privileged relation with China does not prevent her from denouncing human rights violations in the country and after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre she flies to Beijing to opposes openly the Chinese authorities.

A strong-minded woman
A Home Far Away movie posterLois is now 92 and she keeps looking outward. She was a long time member of WILPF and she keeps cutting out articles and writing letters against human rights violations, global warming, the economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If you happen to be in Switzerland, you can get a chance to meet her and the film director, Peter Entell, at the premiere of the film on the following dates:

Monday, 25thFebruary at 6:30 PM at cinema BIO (Carouge).

Tuesday, 5th March at 8 PM at cinema Capitole (Nyon).

Wednesday, 6th March at 7 PM at cinema Pathé Les Galeries (Lausanne).

The movie will be in cinemas from 6th March.

For more information, download the flyer of the event and read the press kit.

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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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