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WILPF is launching a photography competition to explore militarised masculinities around the world

WILPF is delighted to announce the launch of its photography competition dedicated to exploring notions of militarised masculinities and alternatives, documenting the relationship between masculinities, conflict and peace, violence and care.
Credit: Donna Ferrato
Written by WILPF International Secretariat
16 December 2021
Across the world, violence and conflict continue to have a devastating effect on people and the planet. Very often rigid gender roles, and especially restrictive ideas about manhood, are centrally implicated in violence and war. But in every place where violence and conflict exists, so too do women and men who are working together to promote more flexible and equitable gender roles that enable non-violence and peace.
“Societies throughout the world have seen war, conflict and violence influence ideas about manhood,” says Dean Peacock, Director- Countering Militarised Masculinities, Mobilising Men for Feminist Peace, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. “To explore and examine how men’s identities become militarised, as well as how men resist this, we are launching this photography competition and inviting photographers of all backgrounds and practices to submit images that depict militarised masculinities and alternatives to it, capturing men’s relationship to conflict and peace.”
“We are looking to discover and elevate the ways in which the global photographic community interprets and renders contemporary masculinities as they embrace or reject violence. We invite photographers from the photojournalistic, fine art and documentary realms to share their work related to masculine expression,” says award-winning photographer and lead juror, Pete Muller. 
The winners will be decided by an esteemed panel of judges and announced on Tuesday 15th March 2022.  

In Brief

Theme: Militarised masculinities and alternatives
How to Enter: For full details and to enter please visit
Deadline for submissions: Saturday 15th January 2022
Shortlist: The shortlist will be announced on Monday 7th February 2022
Winners: The winners will be announced on Tuesday 15 March 2022
Prize: Two winners will be chosen per category.  From these, two overall winners will be chosen who will both receive $1,000 US dollars
Competition Award Categories: Documentary/ Photojournalism Storie ; Personal Expression Stories ; Portrait Stories 

Meet The Judges

Donna Ferrato is a legendary photojournalist and activist known for her coverage of domestic violence and documentation of the New York City neighborhood of Tribeca. Her seminal book, Living with the Enemy, was a groundbreaking view of domestic violence and played a role in the passage of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994. 

Gael Almeida is Regional Director for Latin America at the National Geographic Society where she oversees the Society’s storytelling projects and facilitates collaborations between visual artists throughout Latin America, and has over 20 years experience working with governments, academic institutions and civil society organisations.

Jahi Chikwendiu is an award-winning photographer who has worked for the Washington Post since 2001 covering a wide range of stories including D.C.’s broken school system, 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, AIDS and poverty in Kenya, genocide in Darfur, cluster bomb victims in South Lebanon and the 2011 formation of the world’s newest country, South Sudan. 

Jehan Jilani is Visuals Editor for The Atlantic Monthly and former lead picture and visuals editor at the Guardian US. She has also worked at National Geographic, The New Yorker and Magnum Foundation.

Paul Moakley is Editor at Large for Special Projects at TIME, formerly their Deputy Director of Photography and Visual Enterprise. Produces special projects such as the recent “Opioid Diaries” and TIME’s Person of the Year. He was part of the Emmy award winning team for TIME’s interactive documentary Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience.

Pete Muller is an American photographer, researcher and producer whose work focuses on masculinities, conflict and human ecology who spent 15 years living and working in Africa and the Middle East chronicling conflicts and social dynamics in South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, the Palestinian Territories, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and elsewhere. His ongoing project, A Tale of Two Wolves: Men and Behavior, examines the social cultivation of masculinities.

Tasha Dougé is a Bronx-based, Haitian-infused artist whose body of work activates conversations around women empowerment, health advocacy, sexual education, societal norms, identity and Black community pride. Through conceptual art, teaching and performance, Tasha devotedly strives to empower and forge broad understanding of the contributions of Black people, declaring that her “voice is the first tool within my artistic arsenal.” She has been featured in the New York Times, Essence Magazine and Sugarcane Magazine.


Read all about the photography competition here.

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About the author

WILPF is the oldest feminist peace organisation still active. We are always looking to expand our reach and connect with other feminists around the world. If you would like to be part of the adventure, consider joining us as a member or starting a section!

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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. 

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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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