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Press Release: WILPF Launches Guidance Note For Security Council Members

WILPF launches the Guidance Note ‘Towards a Feminist Security Council’. The goal is to accelerate the Security Council’s implementation of peace and security that works for and includes women.

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WILPF International Secretariat
21 November 2018

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) launches the Guidance Note ‘Towards a Feminist Security Council’. The goal is to accelerate the Security Council’s implementation of peace and security that works for and includes women.

Eighteen years ago, with the adoption of resolution 1325, the UN Security Council for the first time recognised the relevance of women and gender issues to peace and security.

On 20 November 2018, WILPF launched a comprehensive Guidance Note for Security Council Members which provides a path to accelerating implementation of Women, Peace and Security commitments.

“Feminist Peace is a call to the Security Council to recognise the alternatives to world violence and war by listening to women’s voices, creating opportunities for dialogue, capacity building and creative conflict resolution and reconciliation without the use of force,” stated Joy Onyesoh, President of WILPF during the launch.

The Guidance Note builds on the UN Charter and addresses the longstanding gender bias in the Security Council and in its work. It builds on emerging good practices and provides concrete recommendations on how to implement the Security Council’s mandate, consistent with the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.

“If the Security Council is to be relevant and do its job, it needs to flip business as usual on its head,” stated Abigail Ruane, Director of WILPF’s WPS Programme and co-author of the Guidance Note. “Instead of top-down, militarised, exclusive, and gender-blind, it needs to be bottom up, nonviolent, inclusive, gender-aware, and with effective working methods. This Guidance Note outlines what needs to be done.”

During the launch, WILPF recognised Bangladesh for leading the creation of the first resolution of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, and States such as Spain, Sweden, Peru, and Bolivia for their work with women-led civil society on a range of good practices. This includes ensuring more regular engagement with civil society through geographic briefers to the Security Council, supporting analysis of the root causes of violence, and strengthening national implementation mechanisms.

Cover of "Towards a feminist security council: a guidance note for security council members"

Using this Guidance Note, Security Council Members can build on existing working methods to address key gaps in implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. In doing so, they can support a shift from crisis response towards upstream conflict prevention and sustaining peace based on women’s participation, protection and rights.

Download the PDF Version of The Guidance Note: Towards a Feminist Security Council

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WILPF International Secretariat

WILPF International Secretariat, with offices in Geneva and New York, liaises with the International Board and the National Sections and Groups for the implementation of WILPF International Programme, resolutions and policies as adopted by the International Congress. Under the direction of the Secretary-General, the Secretariat also provides support in areas of advocacy, communications, and financial operations.

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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