Vision, Values and Approach

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.

WILPF’s vision is reflected and embedded in both our Constitution and our 2015 Manifesto.

Our values

Equality and human rights

At the heart of our work is a commitment to advance the enjoyment of freedom, human rights, and justice for all without discrimination based on gender or any other grounds.

Anti-militarism

We reject militarism in all its forms: as a system that diverts society’s resources towards weapons and war; as a mindset and culture that weaponises security and gender relations; and as a leading contributor to armed conflict and armed violence in communities and countries around the world.

Nonviolence

We work for social change without resorting to or supporting violence, including harm to people and the Earth. We engage in peaceful forms of protest to promote sustainable and positive approaches to the challenges that are presented to us.

Solidarity

We are united and committed to caring for and supporting each other as equals. We believe that experiences of inequality, injustice, and insecurity concern us all. We stand together.

Anti-racism

We oppose and strive to eliminate racism – in all its forms – in our work, in our daily lives, throughout and within our organisations, and in how we perceive, approach, and interact with one another and others. Read about our commitment to be an anti-racist movement.

Ecological sustainability

In the face of the climate and environmental crisis, we defend and uphold relationships between humans, the planet, and all its other inhabitants that respect and promote the care of biodiversity and promote mutual well-being.

Care and community

We prioritise people and the planet over profit, and investment in the public good, such as care, social, and community infrastructure and people’s well-being, over privatisation, militarism, and individualism.

Integrity

We act with respect, responsibility, transparency, and accountability to ourselves and one another. Working with courage and honesty, we strive to continuously reflect and learn to live our values.

Our feminist approach to peace

Collaboration and participation

We work collaboratively and in solidarity all across the WILPF movement, and in partnership with other individuals and organisations who align with our vision in the larger movement for peace. Through our holistic, grassroots approach to movement building, we strive to ensure that all people can fully participate.

Strength in diversity

As a global network, we see human and cultural diversity as a strength. We are committed to celebrating people in all their diversity and working together with sorority, empathy, curiosity, understanding, and inclusivity by creating spaces for learning, interaction, and reconciliation.

Persistence

We work with courage and determination, leaning on our shared values and vision of the future.

Intersectionality

We recognise that people experience different types of oppression that often intersect and reinforce one another, including violence and discrimination based on gender, race, social class, sexuality, physical ability, and other traits. We are committed to have our actions informed by gender analysis that takes this intersectionality into account.

Learning and sharing

We are curious, and engage in a constant exchange of diverse knowledge and information. We are committed to building shared knowledge about the root causes of violence and conflict in all their forms, and we are dedicated to constantly educating ourselves as we strive to strengthen, grow, and evolve our movement.

Transforming power

We work to build peace-enhancing processes that redefine power by seeking to create empowering and collective relationships (“power with”) instead of dominating and hierarchical ones (“power over”).

Centring lived experience

We centre the leadership, voices, and experiences of women and others who are directly impacted by violence, conflict, and other manifestations of oppressive systems. We recognise that lived experience allows us to identify and advocate for solutions to challenges, with the support and solidarity of the movement.

Essential Reading

International Programme 2022-2025

2015 Manifesto

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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