Celebrating Feminists’ Voices, Inspiring Global Peace

WILPF National Section Delegations in New York for Women Peace and Security Events

26 October 2015

This past week, WILPF was honored to welcome to New York City delegates from our nine WILPF national sections: Mrs. Joy Ada Onyesoh (Nigeria), Mrs. Annie Matundu Mbambi (DRC), Mrs. Sylvie Jacqueline Ndongmo Fouezet (Cameroon), Mrs. Manuela Mesa and Mrs. María Villellas (Spain), Mrs. Katherine Ronderos (Colombia), Mrs. Rasha Mahmoud (Lebanon), Mrs. Helen Kidan (United Kingdom), Mrs. Annika Skogar and Mrs. Malin Nilsson (Sweden) and Mrs. Aynur Teken (Netherlands).

Here’s a brief recap of what took place!

Picture of seven women sitting at a table.
Members from nine different WILPF Sections participated in the many Women, Peace and Security Events taking place in New York in October 2015. From left you see: Sylvie Jacqueline Ndongmo Fouezet (Cameroon), Joy Ada Onyesoh (Nigeria), Annie Matundu Mbambi (DRC), María Villellas (Spain), Mrs. Manuela Mesa (Spain), Katherine Ronderos (Colombia), and Malin Nilsson (Sweden). Photo Credits: PeaceWomen.

Tuesday (20 October)

The recently arrived delegation participated in an internal WILPF workshop, “Mobilizing women, localizing peace,” which created a space to share good practices from each Section, concerns, and challenges within the Sections regarding the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda.

Wednesday (21 October)

The delegates had the chance to attend the Prelude to the Peace Forum, aimed at creating space to mobilize civil society and consolidate key recommendations for the UN, governments, and other key stakeholders on the 15th Anniversary of UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 1325. The highlight of the event was the various thematic tables created in order to engage in enriching discussions on different concerning matters such as engaging men in the WPS Agenda or prevention.

Thursday (22 October)

Amongst other events, the delegates attended a panel organised by WILPF’s Disarmament programme: “Arms Trade Treaty, UN Programme of Action BMS5, and Gender-Based Violence.” Katherine Ronderos participated in the event as a panelist, in which she explored the possible impact of disarmament and demobilisation efforts in post-conflict Colombia on women.

Friday (23 October)

Our delegation wrapped up their week with the final WPS Lecture Series, “After the High Level Review – Connecting Local and Global Action to Implement the WPS Agenda,” which discussed lessons-learned, reflected on the outcomes of the High-level Review of the UNSCR 1325 and key elements needed to ensure successful implementation. Joy Ada Onyesoh, was one of the panelists of this event, in which she shared a field-perspective and how to go about supporting local voices in Nigeria.

All in all, the outcome of the delegations’ meetings was very fruitful: they shared common concerns and strategized to work together to overcome them, always showing their passion and willingness to work on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.

Written by Marta Bautista, Local to Global Intern. female wrestling

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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. 

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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