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WILPF's Cycle of Unified Action

26 July 2016

For a 100 years WILPF has been bringing women together to work for a world free from violence and armed conflict. As you – hopefully – already know, our aim is to ensure real and lasting peace and freedom by non-violent means. However, you may not be familiarised with one of the things that makes WILPF really unique: that is our local-global-local approach.

What does the local-global-local approach mean?

We consider our major strength to be our linkages between international, national and local efforts, something we call the Cycle of Unified Action. In this process, information and recommendations from women peace activists are brought to multilateral fora by the International Secretariat who, at the same time, brings information and analysis of what is happening internationally to the National Sections and partners on the ground so they can influence the local level.

We believe that to achieve our goal, it is fundamental to look at the realities on the ground and in communities to learn what is needed.

Our national Sections and partners operate in many different environments and the work differs from section to section and from partner to partner depending on the pressing issues in their country.

During this week we will publish a series of articles showcasing different aspects of how the local-global-local approach works in reality. Be prepared to meet communicator and activist Guy from Cameroon, to get insight in Programme Manager Mia Gandensberger’s travels to our Sections in Sweden, Colombia, Cameroon and Spain, and to follow a Syrian Women Civil Society Leader’s advocacy tour to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.


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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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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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