New #MoveTheMoney initiative to boost funding for women, peace and security

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) will on 9 September launch a toolkit to boost action on women, peace and security financing.

The toolkit, available here, includes a motion graphics explainer video available in five languages, case studies, fact sheets, social media graphics and media guides. It is intended to stimulate advocacy among non-governmental actors, and push the United Nations and national governments to shift their funding focus from war to gender justice and peace.

WILPF, a non-profit organisation with national sections in 33 countries, produced the toolkit to address the striking disparity between military funding and peace and gender equality funding across the globe.

“We reject the idea that there is no money for gender justice,” said Abigail Ruane, Director of WILPF’s Women, Peace and Security program (PeaceWomen).

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, in 2015 there was a global military expenditure of $1.6 trillion. Meanwhile only two percent of aid to fragile states in 2012-2013 targeted gender equality as a principal objective, according to the Global Study on UN Security Council Resolution 1325.

“If the international community wants peace, it needs to invest more in gender equality and social justice policies,” Dr Ruane said.

“Our toolkit shows that instead of funding war, the UN and member states should invest in gender-responsive budgeting, transparency in defence budgets, National action Plans on Women, Peace, and Security, and civil society-inclusive UN funds.”

Surveys carried out by WILPF affirm the pressing need for resources to help strengthen women, peace and security financing. In one such survey, almost three-quarters of respondents said that strengthening finance on peace and gender justice was “very important” (8-10 on a scale of 1-10).

More than 63% of respondents said they were in need to technical support to secure funding on gender and peace work.

The Interactive Toolkit forms part of a larger Women, Peace and Security Project by WILPF PeaceWomen programme, which also consists of an event for government actors, a civil society workshop and a series of surveys.

It will be launched at the AWID International Forum in Bahia, Brazil on 9 September.

Find here WILPF’s women, peace and security financing toolkit.

Media enquiries:

Abigail Ruane
+ 1 212 682 1265
abigail(a)peacewomen.org

Melissa Torres

VICE-PRESIDENT

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

VICE-PRESIDENT

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

PRESIDENT

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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Demilitarisation

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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