Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Five New WILPF Sections, PeaceWomen and 100th Birthday Planning

This post was written by WILPF US Representative to the international board, Catia Confortini.

Today five new sections were admitted into our WILPF sisterhood: the DRC, Spain, Mexico, Pakistan, and Nigeria. Last night Molly, Kristin, Morgan, Alicia and I had a fabulous meal at a downtown restaurant together with the representatives of one of Nigeria. These two young women, Adanna and Joy, have done an amazing work to form the new section, with 30 members and a impressive range of activities. You can read their report and see some of their photos on the international congress website.

Earlier today we listened as Maria Butler described the work she is doing as director of the PeaceWomen project. Maria pointed out how PeaceWomen's work is about monitoring and accountability to the commitments express in 1325, offering a library of information, advocacy, and outreach, while keeping local contexts and local differences present in our mind, but also seeing as proper of our organization, the connections and similarities in our lives and the lives of women around the world. A really important task we have is to increase section collaboration, a part of PeaceWomen's work that needs fostering. PeaceWomen works in coalition and integrate our work with disarmament and other thematics. Outreach is done in a variety of ways, one of the most important ones being the translation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 into over 100 languages. Now 1325 is the most translated resolution ever in local languages, and this also talks about the ownership of the resolution by women's organizations who use it in their contexts. PeaceWomen have also started 1820 translation, so if any of us has expertise in a language that we don't have please contact Maria at PW to offer your expertise toward the translation of 1820.

Among the amazing number of activities that PW organized was a civil society space in NY in occasion of 1325, a week long fair organized on the theme of prevention, with a women's march to the UN Security Council to let them know that this is the women's resolution and we will keep ownership and enforce its application.

As a final highlight of Maria's speech, PeaceWomen has also done a comprehensive analysis of the UN Security Council to analyze how and to what extent the SC has adopted gender language and gender analysis in its work. They also included recommendations to what kind of language and analytical framework to use. Now there is also an iPhone app that can be downloaded.

The afternoon program was devoted to the welcoming of new sections and to a description of the events to celebrate the 100th anniversary of WILPF on April 28, 2015. An international steering group is working on it, including our ex Secretary General and US member Susi Snyder. We are going to meet at the Peace Palace from April 22 to April 25 and have a big anniversary event for the jubilee at the World Forum on April 28. The steering group has already started working, talking to Hague officials, writing grants, securing web domains and spaces, but there is still a lot of work to do. A steering group is set in place coordinating with secretary general and with some subgroups with specific tasks. There will be a group on our story, which will collect the wealth of information and published material on our story and present it. A fundraising group will contact potential donors, individuals, foundations, governments to donate to this campaign. A logistics group will deal and sort out lodging, food, scheduling, travel, etc. Media and publicity will tackle publicity and media relations. Communication will look inside and outside WILPF to make sure we all talk to each other and to our international partners, providing materials for local partnerships. The Program group will organize the workshops, speakers, the gala event, the film event etc. We need to look forward, find people who can help with fundraising or donate, people who want to help with the organization, have events to advertise it. We are looking for members to make up the Committee of 100 who will commit to donate or raise one thousand Dollars, Euros or Swiss Franks toward the Congress. The easiest way to donate is through WILPF International website.


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