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#WhyWILPFmarches

25 January 2017

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#WhyWILPFMarches

On Saturday 21st January 2017, the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States, a worldwide protest in support of women´s rights, equality, dignity, and justice for all took place.

What has become a worldwide movement originally began with the planning of one single march in Washington DC, named Women’s March on Washington. Quickly the rumor of the march spread, and individuals and organisations all over the globe started to organise similar marches to support the Washington march.

International grassroots movement

QuotationWhile the march in Washington was a U.S. election-specific protest aimed at sending “a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights,” the sister marches were part of an international movement uniting people to oppose the rising rhetoric of far-right populism around the world and to defend women´s rights, equality, dignity and justice for all.

On the street

As a women’s peace organisation with more than 100 years’ experience protesting against social injustice and making our voices heard at the United Nations, demanding equality, peace and freedom for all, WILPF was marching on 21st January.

We have gathered some photos from the day:

Megan Hutching from WILPF New Zealand/Aotearoa holding banner at march in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Nola Smith
“United we stand, divided we fall”. Megan Hutching from WILPF New Zealand/Aotearoa holding banner at march in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Nola Smith
Members of WILPF Italy take part in Women's March at Rotonda square in downtown Rome, Italy.
Members of WILPF Italy take part in Women’s March at Rotonda square in downtown Rome, Italy.
A huge group from WILPF Spain gathers in Zaragoza, Spain. The Section organised the march in Zaragoza.The Section was also marching in Madrid and Barcelona. Well done, WILPF Spain!
A huge group from WILPF Spain united in Zaragoza, Spain. The Section organised the march in Zaragoza.The Section was also marching in Madrid and Barcelona. Well done, WILPF Spain!

 

WILPF International was invited as a speaker at the march in Geneva, Switzerland. Speakers were Sandrine Hazoumé Da Costa and Shilan Turgut. The speech was partly in English and partly in French.
WILPF International was invited as a speaker at the march in Geneva, Switzerland. Speakers were Sandrine Hazoumé Da Costa and Shilan Turgut. The speech was partly in English and partly in French. Photo: Ed Guzman.

 

In London, Women from UK WILPF marches with a Guernica banner made by WILPF members from the Brighton branch. From left to right you see Jenny Engledow, Sheila Triggs and Josephine Roele. Photo: Khedijah Ali
In London, Women from UK WILPF marches with a Guernica banner made by WILPF members from the Brighton branch. From left to right you see Jenny Engledow, Sheila Triggs and Josephine Roele. Photo: Khedijah Ali

It was not the first time, WILPF was marching, and it will clearly not be the last. We are excited by the number of people who showed up to take a stand all over the globe – and for the impressive number of marches organised with such a short notice. What we witnessed was the true meaning of worldwide solidarity.

Together we are really strong.

PS: If you are from a WILPF Section or Group, then please share your photos from the march with us! Photos will be published on this page. Email communications(a)wilpf.ch. Just remember to tell us the names of the people on the photos and not at least the name of the photographer.

 

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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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