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UK Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom 2017 General Election Manifesto

24 May 2017

The UK section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) asks all political parties and prospective Members of Parliament to commit to integrating women’s full human rights into every aspect of political policy.

In particular, there should be a particular focus on three areas of change:

  • Genuine gender equality
  • Commitment to work towards disarmament
  • Humane contributions to resolving the international refugee crisis

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We are committed to the recommendations made by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW): to eliminate violence against women through ratifying the Istanbul Convention; to remove the gender pay gap; to ensure equal representation in Parliament, within the legal system and on the Boards of government organisations.

We wish to retain the rights won through membership of the European Union to equal rights in the workplace, to access to legal aid and support for maternity conditions. We seek equal pay and accessible working hours for all, particularly single parents / carers / women.

We wish to see greater clarification of working status of women as employed or self-employed, so that zero hours contracts are not used to exploit migrants or indigenous workers and drive down the rates of pay below the Living Wage.

Work towards disarmament

We are committed to nuclear disarmament and wish to see the UK in positive dialogue at the table for the United Nations Nuclear Ban Treaty talks in June 2017.

We wish to see a reduction in government military expenditure and a redistribution of those funds towards organisations that educate, heal and care for people

We want to see regulation which stops companies from selling arms to countries e.g. Saudi Arabia and Israel that fuel conflict in the Middle East and to countries which have a history of human rights abuses.

We expect to see a marked increase in the proportion of peace negotiators who are women and support the continued development of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.

Find a humane solution to the international refugee crisis

We consider that, as an economically advanced industrial democracy, the UK has a moral obligation to take more refugees, encourage and provide financial support to all local authorities to provide effective support services for refugees and to make the most of their skills and creativity.

We want the new government to prevent racial and xenophobic attacks on both migrants and refugees and do not want Brexit negotiations to fuel antagonism towards those seeking asylum here and refugees fleeing from conflict and the adverse effects of climate change

We wish to ensure that foreign policy includes ensuring the safety of women and children against sexual violence within refugee camps and against those profiteering from trafficking by ensuring legitimate routes of travel.

We wish to see overseas development aid given directly to grass-roots groups, particularly led by women, in parts of Africa from where “economic migrants” travel to Libya and then to Europe in order to find a living.

Download the Manifesto as a PDF

⇒ For more information on the work of UK WILPF, visit:




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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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