Welcome to this month’s issue of Membership News. This newsletter features the work of WILPF’s Sections, Branches and Members as well as the work of the International Secretariat.

The newsletter is for ALL members of WILPF. Please share the subscription link to other WILPF members in your Section: http://eepurl.com/H6VC1.

Thank you – and happy reading

Secretariat Staff Changes
With sadness but excitement, we would like to announce that Beatrice Fihn, Programme Manager of Reaching Critical Will (RCW), has accepted a position of Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)!

In her four years with RCW, Beatrice has contributed her skills and dedication to help to develop the disarmament programme and increase their visibility and capacity in many different ways. She will be sorely missed but of course we will continue to work with her closely in her new post and wish her all the best for future endeavours! Beatrice will begin her new position as of 1 July and can be reached at beatrice@icanw.org from now on.

June Conferences
Sarajevo Peace Conference
Between the 6-9th of June, WILPF attended the Sarajevo Peace Conference, following the theme of “Prevent and Abolish War for a Culture of Peace”. During the conference, WILPF hosted an event on the organisation’s 100 year history, highlighting the women forgotten by history.

Heidi Meinzolt, EU Coordinator for WILPF Germany, wrote about her experience in Sarajevo in this emotive blog.

London Summit
WILPF was a key participant at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London, on the 10-13th June. We hosted three events at the summit. The events were called , ”The Impact of the escalating Nature of Violence on the lives of Women in Syria”, ”Screening of the Whistleblower” followed by a discussion and ”Gender and War: Impact and Solutions”.

Have a read of the summary blog published earlier this month about WILPF’s activities at the summit, and how we are reflecting on our participation.

Nordic Forum
On the 12-15th of June, Malmö (Sweden) hosted the Nordic Forum. The theme of the conference was ”New Action on Women’s Rights” and was organised by representatives of the Nordic Women’s Movement.

Members from the Sweden, Denmark, France and Norway were in attendance promoting WILPF and the Women’s Power to Stop War movement.

Elin Liss, Communications Manager of the Swedish Section wrote a blog about WILPF’s participation! Read it and find out more about what steps WILPF sections around the world are taking to promote WILPF’s messages!

WILPF Secretary General, Madeleine Rees reflects on the month of June

The Summit in London happened. Now what? Much is being planned by the UK Foreign Office and advisors but we need to think for ourselves as to what we do with it. Big entry points for us were the recognition of women’s economic empowerment as a crucial element of prevention, the acknowledgement that a peace treaty without the participation of women is not legitimate, and the vital role that the Arms Trade Treaty must play. All our issues were not pushed by government as far as we want but they were talking to our core principles. What they failed to do is link those issues as a means to address what Leymah Gbowee said in her brilliant intervention: stopping war itself. Next step!

Immediately after the London Summit women from Syria came to Geneva for the Human Rights Council. As always they were absolutely right in what they said and their stature and credibility is clear for all. How to make the states really pay attention is our main problem, particularly in the current context. They had good meetings with the Russian representative and we spoke with many others but the pace of change is so slow and their ability to travel is now seriously impaired with the imposition of travel bans on some of the women who have been most active in seeking peace by the Assad regime. We urged states to find solutions if they are serious about women’s participation in peace negotiation. It remains to be seen if they will deliver.

And last week it was Ukraine. Six Ukrainians came to Geneva, including two men and as you can imagine, the situation is not promising. Along with the Ukrainians we brought three of our Bosnian partners to share in the experience and their analysis of the current environment is not assuring. The progression of the conflict to war is text book: the erosion of economic and social rights coupled with extensive corruption, traditional gender relations, violent repression of peaceful demonstrations, radicalisation and the development of oppositional forces created mainly by an external narrative fuelled by the media. At this time an economic fix could prevent full-scale war, we will have to wait and see. The full analysis will be in the website shortly.

Update from the Young WILPF Network
In the recent IB meeting 2014, the IB voted on a draft resolution regarding the continued expansion of the Young WILPF Network. Two versions of the resolution were submitted, one with the minimum of two WILPF members under 35 and one with a minimum of three required to start up a local network. It was a close vote, but the resolution with the required minimum of two members, passed. This was also the original draft resolution from the Young WILPF Network.

Read the resolution.
The resolution reaffirms the on-going presence of the network in WILPF worldwide, and the facilitation of establishing Young WILPF networks in existing sections.
If you would like to create a Young WILPF network in your section, you are now able to do so. With a minimum of two interested WILPF members under the age of 35, you’re on your way! Just remember that all members of a Young WILPF network of course have to be paid-up members of your national section.
If you have any questions regarding the Young WILPF Network and how to start up a Young WILPF network in your section, you can contact Sharna de Lacy, Young WILPF Coordinator on srdelacy@hotmail.com or check out their Facebook group!

Update on the Anniversary
Call for Proposals
WILPF International Secretariat is calling for proposals for small projects from Sections, as part of our ongoing capacity building work. We can currently provide small grants to projects focusing on, Human Rights Programme, the Gender, Peace and Security Programme and Communications.

Find out all the details, criteria and deadlines from your IB member or email 100@wilpf.ch and apply now!

Deadline for applications: July 13th, 2014

Need help in Anniversary Fundraising?
We’ve set up a great new tool to help you raise the funds you need for the Anniversary, and it just requires 1 hour of your time.

Set up your own, personalised Crowdfunding page to help spread the word on why you are in need of funding. A full step-by-step guide on how to do this is included in our Sections’ Guide to the Anniversary.

Get it done today!

Register for the Centennial Congress
All WILPF members are welcome at the Centennial Congress in The Hague, but you need to be registered.

Talk to your Section about who will be your official delegates and alternates, and who wants to come in their own capacity. Either way, make sure to register today!

While you’re at it, register for the International Conference as well and enjoy the major double discount as a WILPF member and early bird.

Find out about all the details when registering for Congress.

Buy Your Women’s Power to Stop War Bag Now!
The Women’s Power to Stop War Bag is now available to order online. Show your support for the Movement and get yours today!

Special Auction; Autographed Centennial T-Shirt
We’re auctioning off something special to help support the Anniversary efforts, a t-shirt signed by four Nobel Laureates and our very own Secretary General, Madeleine Rees.

Would you like to be the owner of this unique t-shirt? Then place your bid today!

New Publications
A treaty banning nuclear weapons
Despite the growing recognition of the risk of a nuclear weapons detonation, nuclear-armed states and those in military alliances with them continue to rely upon and invest in nuclear weapons. However, the renewed focus on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons has opened space for consideration of new approaches to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons. RCW teamed up with Article 36 to explore the potential for a treaty banning nuclear weapons in the most comprehensive paper on this subject so far!

Assuring destruction forever: 2014 edition
As of April 2014, the nuclear-armed states are estimated to possess approximately 17,300 nuclear weapons. All of them have plans to modernise, upgrade and/or extend the lives of, their nuclear weapons. In ”Assuring destruction forever: 2014 edition”, non-governmental researchers and analysts provide information on each country’s modernisation plans.

An assessment of the PoA
This briefing paper, written by Daniel Mack of Instituto Sou da Paz, explores some of the key challenges facing the UN Programme of Action on small arms and light weapons and highlights opportunities and options for addressing small arms issues more effectively. The paper serves as a provocation for civil society and governments to think critically about the framework to address the illicit trade in these weapons. It asks questions about the nature and efficacy of international work on small arms and suggests key areas in which future work will be necessary.

Update from the Human Rights Programme
The Human Rights Programme is currently engaged at the Human Rights Council on issues such as firearms and women’s rights, business and human rights, the diversity of the family, the right to peace, prohibiting killer robots and many others. This week, the Human Rights Programme is busy at The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), with the release of WILPF’s shadow report to CEDAW on militarisation in India with a special focus on violence in the North East, titled ”Caught Between Arms: The State of Women’s Rights in India”.

Want to know more? Sign up to the Human Rights Programme newsletter to learn more about their activities during the Human Rights Council!

Update from the Women Organising for Peace in Syria and Bosnia Initiative
On the 8th of July women NGOs and individual activists from Bosnia participating in this initiative will come together for a workshop on economic, social, and cultural rights called ”Strategising of the Future”.

This is the continuation of WILPF’s work with women NGOs and individual activists, looking for ways forward within the area of Gender, Peace and Security. At this workshop we will be discussing questions such as why Economic and Social (ECOSOC) rights are almost routinely are left out of peace agreements. When they are included, why are ECOSOC rights mostly presented as humanitarian assistance rather than rights and what are the connections between ECOSOC rights and transitional justice?

We will also be looking into how the lack of access to ECOSOC rights in Bosnia is affecting different groups in the society and where lies the root cause to the discrimination these groups are facing in terms of accessing those rights. We will specifically look into the discrimination of three groups, survivors of wartime rape and other forms of sexualised violence, families of missing persons, and returnees and Internally Displaced People (IDPs).

Get Involved!
ICAN Action Academy
The ICAN Action Academy is a four-day intensive training seminar for young campaigners and those, who want to become one. Either you have already worked in the field of (nuclear) disarmament and gained experience with campaigning, or you are motivated to do so in the future: in both cases the Action Academy is the event you shouldn’t miss out on this year.

Applications for the ICAN Action Academy are now open!

Check out the programme and please help to spread the flyer to potential participants

FRIDA’s 2014 Global Call for Proposals
FRIDA is The Young Feminist Fund, the only youth-led fund focused exclusively on supporting global young feminist activism to advance social justice movements and agendas.

They provide funding for young feminist and transgender groups. The application deadline is the 28th of July 2014. The grant includes, direct flexible funding, for project or core costs, as well as additionally capacity development support and added connections to other young feminist groups across the globe!

For more information on the funding and the application criteria check out FRIDA’s website. The criteria is also available in English, Spanish, Arabic, French and Russian.

Section Submissions for Upcoming Membership News
For 2014, the WILPF International Secretariat will follow a specific publication plan that includes deadlines for submissions. Sections should submit their news and updates including text and photos to communications@wilpf.ch.

Leave a Reply