The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) was founded in April 1915, in the Hague, the Netherlands, by 1,300 women from Europe and North America, who came together in a Congress of Women to protest the killing and destruction of the war then raging in Europe. More on the history of WILPF >>
WILPF works on issues of peace, human rights and disarmament at the local, national and international levels, participating in the ongoing international debates on peace and security issues, conflict prevention and resolution, on the elimination of all forms of discrimination, and the promotion and protection of human rights. It contributes a feminist analysis of these issues, and through its many activities, educates, informs and mobilizes women for action everywhere. It has consultative status with a variety of United Nations organisations.
WILPF is also one of the 21 European-wide membership organisations that sit on the European Women’s Lobby. With their focus on specific issues across Europe, these European-wide organisations provide an important balance to the 30┬áNational Coordinations, which represent a wide variety of women’s organisations within their own countries.
WILPF’s ultimate goal is the establishment of an international economic order founded on the principles of meeting the needs of all people and not on those of profit and privilege.
WILPF holds a triennial Congress for members and in interim years an International Executive Board meeting is convened. These events are important to the organization and are hosted by a different national section each year. The 2004 Congress was held in Gothenburg, Sweden. The 2007 Congress was held in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
WILPF aims to facilitate structural changes to achieve social, economic and political equality for all without discrimination on grounds of sex, race, religion or any other grounds.┬áTo achieve these goals WILPF works for:
- The abolition of the war system, the elimination of the root causes of war and conflict.
- The abolition of violence and coercion in the settlement of conflict, as well as the use of dialogue, negotiation and conciliation for non-violent resolution of conflict.
- Total and universal disarmament.
- The elimination of racism, racial and all other forms of discrimination.
- Sustainable economic and social development that meets the needs of all peoples and protects bio-diversity and the Earth’s limited resources.
- The promotion and protection of women’s rights and equal and full participation of women in all political, social and economic processes.
- Political and social equality and economic justice.
- The strengthening of the United Nations system and the development of, and respect for, international law.
Aims and Principles
- To bring together women of different political beliefs and philosophies who are united in their determination to study, make known and help abolish the causes and the legitimization of war;
- To work toward world peace; total and universal disarmament; the abolition of violence and coercion in the settlement of conflict and their substitution in every case of negotiation and conciliation; the strengthening of the United Nations system; the continuous development and implementation of international law; political and social equality and economic equity; co-operation among all people; and an environmentally sustainable development.
- Believing that under systems of exploitation these aims cannot be attained and a real and lasting peace and true freedom cannot exist, WILPF makes it one of its missions to further by non- violent means the social and economic transformation of the international community. This would enable the establishment of economic and social systems in which political equality and social justice for all can be attained, without discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, or any other grounds whatsoever.