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EWL members stand in solidarity with women organising, mobilizing and acting for peace and freedom around the world

[Brussels, 09 March 2011] EWL member organisation, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), on 8 March 2011 issued a Statement of solidarity with women’s associations world-wide working to promote peace and freedom. Read the full Statement below.

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), on the occasion of the 100th International Women’s Day, stands in solidarity with women organizing, mobilizing and acting for peace and freedom around the world. We are inspired to reaffirm our commitment to the beliefs of the founding Mothers of WILPF on 8 March 2011.

On this day, we unite to salute the efforts of women working to bring about change through peaceful, non-violent, participatory action. We support women organizing and struggling for their rights around the world, including recently in North Africa and the Middle East. We demand women’s full participation and leadership in peace-making process around the world, particularly in conflict area and occupied territories. We urge all States to engage women’s organizations in the development and implementation of comprehensive National Action Plan process on Security Council Resolution 1325 (Women, Peace and Security), and that these plans integrate a human rights and full disarmament approach.

As the first UN entity entirely dedicated to the promotion and implementation of women’s rights, we welcome UN Women and look forward its leadership and coherent strategy.

The core message of our work at WILPF is that we are driven by the attainment of peace and human dignity and we believe that women are central to that process. Furthermore, we underline that this aim and this belief in women directs us to challenge existing paradigms of thought and structures of power. Now, at the centennial of International Women’s Day, is the time for solidarity and action to challenge the status quo, which is embedded in patriarchy and systems of dominance.

Transforming these systems and security means changing thinking and diverting money away from the production, sale and use of weapons to the pursuit of social and human demands of sustainable development, gender equality and peace. Spending enormous amounts of money every year on militarism should not go without protest and must change. In 2008, for example, the total world expenditure on militarism reached 1.5 billion dollars, or 4 billion dollars per day. The same amount could cover 2928 years of the budget of the new UN women ’s agency, 700 years of the UN regular budget, and over 24 years of the additional foreign aid required to reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. As a challenge to militarism, WILPF consistently asks: “What would you invest in?”

Describing the experiences of women through Human Rights can be a transformative tool for realizing progress, justice and peace. In order to implement a real vision of comprehensive and inclusive local and global gender activism, WILPF members and supporters must continue to serve as a conduit between the grassroots level and, national and international policy makers to bring human security to forefront.
This is a day for all WILPF members, supporters and partners around the world to commit with renewed force to our objectives and beliefs.

In Peace and Solidarity on the 8th of March 2011,

On behalf of WILPF:

  • Annelise Ebbe & Kerstin Grebäck, Co-Presidents
  • Madeleine Rees, Secretary General
  • Maria Butler, Director PeaceWomen Project
  • Ray Acheson, Director Reaching Critical Will Project

For more information, visit: http://www.wilpfinternational.org/

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