Mission & Strategy

The Women, Peace and Security Programme was founded by Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) in 2000 to work on ensuring women’s rights and participation are not disregarded in international peace and security efforts.

WILPF’s Women, Peace and Security Programme promotes feminist peace by strengthening women’s meaningful participation, transforming gendered power, and bridging local gender conflict analysis with global efforts to implement a holistic WPS Agenda. This builds on WILPF’s overall priorities of addressing root causes of violence with a feminist lens and mobilising for non-violent action.  

WILPF’s Women, Peace and Security Programme work in 2017 was framed under the following three objectives:

  1. Transforming gendered power;

  2. Amplifying local and regional change in key country contexts;

  1. Improving multilateral actions.

Strategic Objective: Transform Gendered Power

Transforming gendered power, security and peace is not about making war safe for women but about ending war and promoting peace, gender equality and justice. Systems of inequalities must be addressed to identify the root causes of and challenges to women’s participation in social, economic and political processes.

To fulfill this objective, WILPF

>> Advocates for gender analysis and rights in prevention of conflict, peacemaking processes, post-conflict transformation, and policies and decision-making;

>> Contributes to the holistic implementation of the WPS Agenda, including promoting meaningful participation of women who are committed to peace and justice in peace and social transformation processes at all levels;

>> Challenges gendered power relations, and works to transform negative masculinities and patriarchy.

Strategic Objective: Amplify Local and Regional Change

Each context is different and the analysis of trends and root causes of violence is contextual. It is essential for our local work to be relevant and effective in its context. Therefore in addition to our global work and Secretariat support to all sections and regions, WILPF has prioritized five focus countries and two regions for deeper engagements. These countries are Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Nigeria, Syria and Ukraine. The two regions are Africa and MENA.

To fulfill this objective, WILPF

>> Advances the methodologies for organising of women in order to strengthen their meaningful participation and provide gender perspectives on root causes of conflict, conflict prevention, resolution and peace process at local and national level;

>> Foster dialogue and facilitate space for women civil society and other partners to work on sharing experiences and exchanging knowledge with relevant contexts and regionally to advance analysis and strategies;

>> Link the local, regional and international work for effective implementation.

Strategic Objective: Improve Multilateral Actions

WILPF believes that feminist peace requires breaking down divisions by advocating for the inclusion of gender analysis into policy and by decision-makers and institutions at all levels. WILPF applies a consistent methodology and approach, building on its legacy of monitoring and reporting to strengthen transparency and accountability of global commitments. The work includes rigorous monitoring, reporting and analysis of discussions and outcomes in various disarmament fora, the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly, as well as relevant human rights treaty bodies. This enables us to provide expert documentation and reporting for the use of all stakeholders, including states, and also ensures that WILPF enjoys trust and credibility when it comes to engaging in negotiations on related issues. 

To fulfill this objective, WILPF

>> Contributes to increased accountability of the states and multilateral forums for commitments on gender, peace, justice and disarmament;

>> Actively promotes an integrated approach that connects human rights, disarmament and gender towards feminist peace.

Programme Highlights and Impact

As part of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the Women, Peace and Security Programme has been instrumental in strengthening and enhancing the impact of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, as well as the situation of women around the world:

  • We published a Feminist Security Council Agenda infographic and Huffington Post article, which articulated the mandate of the UN Security Council from a feminist perspective, highlighting its responsibility for promoting nonviolent, inclusive, transparent, locally-driven alternatives for peace.

  • In March 2017, we hosted a “WILPF and CSW61: Demanding Meaningful Participation for All” webinar for WILPF activists to discuss our position at the 61st Commission on the Status of Women. As part of this, and in response to the US travel ban, WILPF held our first-ever protest of the Commission on the Status of Women to bring attention to women’s missing voices. Read more about alternative spaces that we have provided for civil society to reflect on the current standing of "the UN as a peaceful organisation" here>>

  • The Women, Peace and Security Programme launched an expanded Security Council Scorecard on Women, Peace and Security to boost holistic action for conflict prevention and peace. The scorecard, available at http://peacewomen.org/scorecards, documents international and national action on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda addressing gender and conflict prevention, participation, protection, and relief and recovery. 

    • We also published a 2010-2016 Security Council WPS Scorecard research brief to strengthen accountability of the Permanent Five (P5) members of the UN Security Council for holistic implementation of the WPS Agenda. The Scorecard mapped international and national gaps in compliance around women’s meaningful participation, conflict prevention, disarmament and WPS financing.

  • The Women, Peace and Security Programme launched a toolkit to boost action on women, peace and security financing. The toolkit, available at www.peacewomen.org/wps-financing, 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.

  • PeaceWomen organised the first ever meeting of the Security Council with Syrian women in January 2014. Syria women advocates spoke truth to power directly! Read more >>

  • PeaceWomen worked with Reaching Critical Will (WILPF’s Disarmament Programme) to lead the historic inclusion of a legally binding provision on preventing Gender-Based Violence provision in the Arms Trade Treaty. This matters because now States can not ignore violence against women when selling arms. Read more>>

  • PeaceWomen had an important role in all the Women, Peace and Security resolutions - for example, we successfully advocated for Security Council Resolution 2122’s recognition of state obligation to “respect and ensure” human rights, and for the need for an “integrated approach” to peace, conflict, security, development, and human rights.

  • PeaceWomen creates space for voices of Peace Women. In March 2014, we hosted women peace leaders from over 25 countries at the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), including from: Democratic Republic of Congo, Costa Rica, Colombia, United Kingdom, United States, Sweden, Canada, Japan, Australia, Lebanon, Morocco, Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, France, China, Kenya, Spain, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland and Nigeria. We hosted capacity building sessions for sections, briefed international delegates on Women Peace and Security issues, coordinated WILPF’s official statement, and engaged in numerous strategic panel events. Read more >>

  • PeaceWomen pioneers innovative tools. Building on our monitoring and advocacy work, we created the first ever Women, Peace and Security handbook (2010) and mobile application (2013), developed tools such as our National Action Plan (NAP) Development Toolkit (2013), and maintain an online information portal on Women, Peace and Security which gets half of a million hits annually from over 200 different countries/territories, over half of whom are in the global south, near or in a conflict-affected area. Read more >>