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World Radio Day: Celebrating radio as a tool for feminist peace

What role does radio play in advancing social movements, including feminism and the peace movement? This World Radio Day, we’re exploring the answer to this question — and taking a look at how radio is used by WILPF members around the world today to broadcast messages of peace, justice, and equality for all.

Image credit: UN Photo/Michael Ali
WILPF International Secretariat
13 February 2023

From the time modern radio became popular as a means of broadcasting news and entertainment in the early 1920s, it has played an important role in disseminating messages of peace — including those shared by women.

In recognition of the unique relationship between radio and efforts for peace, this year’s World Radio Day theme is “Radio and Peace” — a reflection of the medium’s powerful contributions to peacebuilding, conflict prevention, knowledge sharing, democracy, and activism. 

At WILPF, our movement has evolved alongside the advent of radio since our earliest days. Founded in 1915 in the midst of the First World War, generations of WILPF leaders and members across the globe have used radio as a critical tool for raising awareness of our cause and for bringing the voices of women to airwaves around the world.

Today, WILPF Sections and Groups continue to explore the possibilities of radio to advance movement building, dialogue, education, and action toward a future of feminist peace. Today, we’re glad and honoured to share just a few examples of how radio and peace go hand-in-hand through the work of WILPF members around the world. 

WILPF Sections in Burundi, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and Togo 

In Africa, radio is the primary mode of mass communication, with broad geographic reach and large audiences across all demographics. 

Photo credit: Viviane Nguimeya, WILPF Cameroon

During the COVID-19 pandemic, WILPF Sections throughout Africa made use of radio to share critical messages of peace and safety. WILPF Burundi, WILPF Côte d’Ivoire, and WILPF Togo broadcast important information about COVID-19 prevention techniques, while WILPF Nigeria raised awareness about the rise in instances of domestic violence during COVID-19 lockdowns. And in conjunction with the 33rd International Congress, WILPF Cameroon joined Radio Audace to talk about WILPF’s International Programme 2022-2025.

WILPF Argentina: Radio is essential for the people 

In April 2021, WILPF Argentina — with support from WILPF — partnered together with other organisations working for peace to develop a radio programme called “I’ll Give You My Voice, Sister.” 

Broadcast on Radio Rebelde 740AM, the radio spot has provided space for the partners to interview women politicians, popular militants, trade unionists, activists, deputies, senators, and other officials. Following a brief break, the half-hour show will resume this March with a broadcast every Wednesday morning. 

“Our humble task is to make other voices heard, the voices of the protagonists, without filters that add more confusion to the existing ones,” says María de los Ángeles Pagano of WILPF Argentina. “No matter how small the audience is for a radio programme, it will always be heard. We know that it is very useful for our work with WILPF.” 

WILPF Germany: A space for dialogue and knowledge sharing 

On the first Monday of every other month, members of WILPF Germany can be heard on Radio Lora’s Radio International programme

During the one-hour live broadcast, the team reports on their activities, shares their opinions on current events, discusses critical issues impacting women and peace, and educates listeners about all things WILPF: its history, its feminist approach to peace, its focus areas, and much more. Listen online now

WILPF Italy: Making ourselves known to the public 

For years, WILPF Italy has engaged with Radio Radicale to speak about human rights, nuclear disarmament, and the arms trade. In 2019, the radio station even recorded and broadcast an entire conference organised by the Section. 

WILPF Italy has also partnered with local radio stations to record and broadcast live protests and sit-ins, co-organised with the “Disarmisti Esigenti”, or “Demanding Disarmament,” which are broadcast on Florence’s Nuova Resistenza radio. 

“Undoubtedly, radio helps us make ourselves and our work known to the public,” says Patrizia Sterpetti of WILPF Italy. 

From radio to podcasting: The future of listening  

In recent years, podcasting has joined radio as an exciting new means of sharing news and stories, engaging in dialogue, and elevating voices through the power of audio. 

At WILPF, we have leaned into this new mode of communication with the creation of a number of new podcasts, including Think & Resist, Caesura, and Political is Personal. Each takes a different approach to showcasing the work of the activists leading the feminist peace movement and shedding light on some of the most critical issues impacting peace and human security today. 

Discover all of our podcasts and keep checking back for more! 

Do you have a story to share about radio and peace? Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram and tell us more! 

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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.

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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