Path to Peace

WILPF is a membership-based organisation that works through feminist principles in solidarity and partnership with sister activists, networks, coalitions, platforms, and civil society organisations. WILPF has member Sections and Groups in over 40 countries and partners worldwide.

Our vision

A world of permanent peace built on feminist foundations of freedom, justice, nonviolence, human rights, and equality for all, where people, the planet, and all its other inhabitants coexist and flourish in harmony.

Our goals

Transformed mindsets

We envision a future where militarised mindsets are transformed, where we have shifted dominant attitudes and beliefs that champion discriminatory and destructive forms of power.

Concepts of security will be reframed from violence and militarism to systems and structures that offer true peace and security, including a world free from weapons and well-resourced community and social infrastructure.

Public attitudes about militarism will be shifted through awareness of the devastating costs of war, conflict, and institutionalised violence, and through knowledge of nonviolent ways to address conflict.

Destructive gender norms will be transformed from harmful power relations to equal partnerships; from militaristic notions of masculinity to men and boys as allies of peace; and from simplistic male versus female stereotypes to the acceptance of more complex gender realities and identities.

Racist, privileged systems, practices, and patterns of behaviour and colonial mentalities will be addressed, repaired, and dismantled.

Violence prevented

We envision a future where violence is prevented through peaceful and gender-responsive means that address root causes of conflict.

Gender-based violence will be prevented and eradicated in all its forms and from all spheres of life, both in times of conflict and peace.

Conflict will be addressed and resolved through nonviolent, inclusive means, including dialogue, mediation, and diplomacy. Justice and gender equality is at the heart of conflict prevention.

The use and circulation of small arms in public life and communities will be halted and dismantled. Weapons – including nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction – and their manufacturing will be stigmatised, prohibited, and ultimately eliminated through the universal ratification and implementation of multilateral disarmament instruments.

The arms trade, at the local, national, and international level, will cease along with the development of new weapons systems and technologies.

Military alliances will be dismantled and military budgets – in particular those supporting colonialist, occupying, or imperialist forces and militarised borders – will be redistributed towards the public good.

Governments, corporations, militaries, and other actors will be held accountable for human rights violations and abuses. Human rights and justice will be secured, including through accountability to address and prevent armed aggression, oppression, and occupation, and to provide remedy to victims.

Feminist alternatives

We envision a future where systems of oppression are replaced with feminist alternatives that champion human rights, demilitarisation, accountability, and restitution. Also, a future where a just, ecological transition has been achieved, led by economic policies that prioritise the well-being of people and the planet.

Crisis and security responses, including responses to issues related to climate change, health crises, migration, and other critical concerns, will be demilitarised and will instead be led by properly trained and resourced civilian disaster response efforts.

The original principles of the United Nations to guarantee peace, justice, and human rights will be restored. It will be protected from corporate capture and corruption and instead driven by public engagement and accountability. Global action agendas for a better world will be pursued and implemented to their fullest extent.

State and non-state actors will uphold human rights norms and legal instruments, and there will be effective laws and public policies to the benefit of rights-holders.

To advance a just transition towards ecological sustainability and a fossil fuel – and nuclearfree future, corporations and exploitative businesses will be reigned in and held accountable to communities impacted by climate change and the environmental crisis. Environmental causes of conflict – such as resource scarcity and land degradation – will be addressed through regenerative policies and practices. The human right to a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment will be respected and upheld.

Neoliberal economic policies will be replaced with investments focused on public resources, basic human needs, and community and social infrastructure in order to ensure human security and the well-being of people and the planet.

Decolonisation will be achieved through the acknowledgment and transformation of unequal power relations rooted in colonisation and imperialism. Laws and policies that welcome and protect asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants will be implemented and upheld.

A powerful movement

Feminist activism underpins the success of each of our first three goals. We envision a powerful, inclusive, and intersectional feminist movement that connects peace activists and other social justice movements on a global scale as we pursue collective action for change.

Feminist organising in local, community, and grassroots settings will be strong and vibrant. Contributions and exchanges by activists will be local, collaborative, and participatory, and mutual support will be provided.

Women and other feminist activists will be connected beyond borders and acting in solidarity for peace, to demand an end to systems of oppression and to participate fully in economic, social, political, and environmental/land decisions in any territory of the world.

Women and other feminist activists will have real and effective opportunities to bring the realities of conflict from a gender perspective to the attention of decision-makers, including at peace tables and as part of long-term peacebuilding strategies, and will have their solutions for peace heard and acted upon fully.

The achievement of a safe and enabling environment will ensure activists can promote disarmament, human rights, and peace without fear of harassment, threats, or attacks.

Women’s and feminist organisations will be widely supported and properly resourced.

Our actions

To achieve our vision and goals, we will continue to mobilise one of the most powerful forces for change: women-led and feminist activism, rooted in an anti-racist and intersectional approach that challenges and eliminates discrimination in all its forms.

We
work together
from the local to global levels on
three main action areas

We strengthen feminist peace activism

We will support, protect, and mobilise feminist peace activists, build synergies, strengthen our movement, and work to decolonise the movement.

We challenge systems and structures of oppression

We will expose, disrupt, and challenge the systems and structures of oppression – patriarchy, militarism, nationalism, capitalism, racism, and colonialism – by demonstrating how they are interconnected. We will use human rights and intersectional gender analysis, informed by people impacted by violence, and promote feminist alternatives.

We promote inclusive and peaceful solutions to conflict

Guided by gender conflict analysis and a commitment to nonviolence, we will promote violence prevention and support inclusive, peaceful solutions to conflict at all levels of society.

Our ways of working

We bridge and link the experiences of women and feminist activists between local realities and international forums and use several methods to pursue our actions and advance our vision.

Activism and organising

Working together as peace activists all over the world, we undertake nonviolent activism. This includes public campaigns, protests, boycotts, peace art, and political rallies. WILPF organises locally and globally.

Analysis and reflection

We use different analytical approaches to better understand and study the causes of war, conflict, and violence and their interconnections. For example, we develop and promote intersectional analysis and feminist political economy, historical, and socio-cultural analysis.

Awareness-raising

Through cross-cultural communication, community-level discussions, media relations, and peace education, we reach wider groups of people to deepen reflections on and transform mindsets related to systems of oppression.

Advocacy

We use advocacy to advance concrete changes in practices, policies, laws, norms, programmes, and systems for permanent peace and to promote human rights and accountability. Advocacy work focuses primarily on governments, parliamentarians, the United Nations, regional institutions, and other actors to stop violence and work to abolish the causes of war. We also conduct advocacy with others, including non-state actors and civil society, to help create a favourable climate for feminist peace.

Alliance-building

We build bridges and join and form alliances with like-minded communities, organisations, movements, policymakers, diplomats, and politicians.

Solidarity dialogues

We create spaces to bring women and feminist activists together to mobilise, learn from each other, and strengthen our collective power.

Mobilising and resourcing feminist peace

We mobilise resources and mutual support to strengthen and enable local, national, and global actions of WILPF Sections, Groups, and partners, and advocate for feminist activism to be effectively funded and resourced.

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 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

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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