Solidarity Care Fund

Activism works to create change. Even during a crisis. In the midst of all the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen solidarity in action around the world. Women peace activists have continued to mobilise collective power at the local level which proved essential to providing immediate support but also contributing to conflict prevention and peacebuilding work.

To support this work, in April 2020 WILPF set up our first ever short-term Solidarity Care Fund to offer financial resources to Sections and Groups that were working with communities in response to the crisis. We distributed 24 grants which helped members run awareness campaigns and find ways to support their communities to access equipment, food and shelter where governments and other relief programmes were unable to meet the needs of the population. In many countries, members also mobilised to address the rise in gender-based violence and integrated domestic violence information into COVID-19 prevention materials.

All this work shows how women are leading, organising locally and how activists are caring, and working tirelessly to prevent violence in diverse contexts. 

We are proud to share the videos and pictures on this page to give you a glimpse of the work done by WILPF activists during the pandemic. 

Support on a Global Scale

Like other crises, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities, decreased equitable access to essential services and threatened the fulfillment of human rights. In many contexts, that has come against an already difficult economic and social backdrop. 

In 2020, the Solidarity Care Fund supported 24 Sections and Groups in the following countries: Afghanistan, Argentina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ghana, India, Italy, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Palestine, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Sweden, Togo, Uganda, Zimbabwe.

“The Solidarity Care Fund gave us an opportunity to exercise our autonomy and provide a concrete response to the demands of grassroots women who have been severely affected by COVID-19.”​

Our Achievements: Advocacy, Awareness-raising, and Action

WILPF members have worked tirelessly to support and advocate for people – particularly women and girls – impacted by the pandemic. They adapted to the circumstances and used their networks to raise awareness, counter misinformation and support people directly affected by the economic fall-out. 

WILPF DRC supported community actions including a mother-child health care centre, WILPF Cameroon worked with internally displaced persons and was one of the first organisations to warn of the dangers of stigma and discrimination in the response to COVID-19. In Europe, WILPF Italy worked to support homeless people and refugees during the first lockdown. WILPF Afghanistan organised and advocated with women and girls with disabilities. WILPF members in many countries, including Argentina, Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe, raised awareness of gender-based violence and some worked to address domestic violence by creating support mechanisms. In Ghana, Sudan and Senegal, members facilitated awareness sessions for women street vendors who were disproportionately affected by the containment measures.

As part of the COVID-19 response, Sections and Groups also stepped up their advocacy and awareness-raising efforts to document the human rights and gendered impacts of COVID-19 and drawn attention to existing root causes and faultlines like conflict, regressive economic reforms, militarism, and patriarchy. This thinking, analysis and activism in the face of different and multiple crises has shown a shared narrative of the causes and brought forward the knowledge of what needs to happen for structural transformation. 

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

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Mauris facilisis luctus rhoncus. Praesent eget tellus sit amet enim consectetur condimentum et vel ante. Nulla facilisi. Suspendisse et nunc sem. Vivamus ullamcorper vestibulum neque, a interdum nisl accumsan ac. Cras ut condimentum turpis. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia curae; Curabitur efficitur gravida ipsum, quis ultricies erat iaculis pellentesque. Nulla congue iaculis feugiat. Suspendisse euismod congue ultricies. Sed blandit neque in libero ultricies aliquam. Donec euismod eget diam vitae vehicula. Fusce hendrerit purus leo. Aenean malesuada, ante eu aliquet mollis, diam erat suscipit eros, in.


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.

Skip to content