COP 21: WILPF urges governments to commit to ambitious targets

Posted by on Nov 30, 2015 in Environment and militarism, Gender, Peace and Security, Human Rights, News | 0 comments

The twenty-first Conference of the Parties (COP21) has started in Paris. WILPF International is holding two workshops, both on 6 December 2015. They are “Nuclear energy doesn’t save the climate” and “Women facing climate change.” Earlier this year, at the meeting of its centenary congress, WILPF passed a resolution on Climate Change, Environmental Justice and Peace. The Resolution calls for urgent government action and international divestment from fossil fuel investments, as well as the appointment of a Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Climate Change. Read the Resolution in...

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No peace without equality: end violence against women and girls

Posted by on Nov 24, 2015 in Disarmament, Gender, Peace and Security, Human Rights, News | 0 comments

The UK Section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom calls on the UK Government to practice and prioritise a foreign and domestic policy that invests in women’s human rights and women’s participation. Women’s participation is the foundation for preventing all forms of violence. Research has shown that the larger the gender gap, the more likely a state is to be involved in inter- and intra- state conflict and to use violence as a first choice option. Today, women are grappling with a widespread rise in violence while opportunities for action by civil society decline. It is critical that governments at all levels promote justice, prevent impunity and ensure perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence are held accountable. Doing so includes dedicated and reliable funding for women’s political participation and holistic services for survivors. In the UK, 51 per cent of the population are women, yet women make up only: 29 per cent of the Members of Parliament 6 per cent of High Court Judges 10 per cent of bank CEOs 5 per cent of national daily newspaper editors 0 per cent of the Bank of England Monetary Committee 2 per cent of engineering professionals 3 ICT professionals 4 per cent of science and engineering technicians 6 per cent of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) management And the list could go on. WILPF believes that the exclusion of women, women’s rights and gender issues remains a key impediment to the attainment of sustainable peace and human security and makes the following recommendations to the UK Government: Start investing in peace: Increase funding for feminist movements to prevent all forms of violence and promote peace and freedom for all. Invest in civil society, including promoting women’s political participation, access to justice, and access to legal, health, and psychological services, including around issues of sexual and gender-based violence Put women at the table: Demand and provide concrete mechanisms to ensure women’s and civil society’s full and equal participation and rights in all peace negotiations and political processes at every level. Refuse to support any peace negotiations that do not have women’s substantive participation and rights integrated into the process. Respect, protect and fulfil women’s equal human rights: Ensure effective implementation of all existing laws and mechanisms* accountable for upholding women’s human rights. We can build a new world of sustainable peace based on gender justice. Join us! * This includes the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), in particular CEDAW General Recommendation 30 to address discriminatory social, legal, political and economic barriers to gender equality and peace within and across borders, including through holding international financial institutions (including the IMF and World...

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UK WILPF says “Refugees welcome”

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Crisis Response, Gender, Peace and Security, Human Rights | 0 comments

Joining in the day of actions held around the country on Saturday 12 September, UK WILPF held a short vigil welcoming refugees to the UK and reminding the UK government that “people need peace, not war.” UK WILPF wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron, asking the government to “recognise UK partial responsibility for creating the situation by our military intervention in countries where, without sufficient understanding of the problems and without a commitment to dialogue, the intervention has led to destabilisation of governments and lack of governance.” In addition, UK WILPF joins Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) in calling on the UK government to support Syrian refugees and, specifically, better protect, assist and empower Syrian women in building peace. Two of the nine ideas from GAPS on how to do this are: Provide immediate funding at the onset of an emergency for the deployment of gender-based violence/violence against women advisors and gender/GENCAP advisors to support response efforts through the cluster system. At the regional level, call for the appointment of an EU-level regional champion on Women, Peace and Security. You can read the GAPS letter in full here and the WILPF letter...

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No to TTIP! 10 days left to sign petition

Posted by on Sep 25, 2015 in Gender, Peace and Security, Human Rights | 0 comments

The European Citizens’ Initiative petition against TTIP and CETA is open until 6 October for signatures. Fewer than 200,000 signatures are needed to reach the 3,000,000 mark. The petition’s main objective is: “To prevent TTIP and CETA because they include several critical issues such as investor-state dispute settlement and rules on regulatory cooperation that pose a threat to democracy and the rule of law. We want to prevent lowering of standards concerning employment, social, environmental, privacy and consumers and the deregulation of public services (such as water) and cultural assets from being deregulated in non-transparent negotiations. The ECI supports an alternative trade and investment policy in the EU.” Additionally, UK WILPF is one of more than 150 organisations that signed the ECI’s letter opposing US President Barack Obama’s “fast track” authority over trade negotiations such as TTIP. That authority was granted via an Act passed by the US Congress that included means to block any sanctions on Israel, including existing EU measures relating to illegal settlement produce from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The ECI letter states that, “As organisations opposed to any EU-US trade treaty that does not serve the public interest, we are gravely concerned at the recent introduction of US legislation that seeks to use TTIP to block human rights actions in solidarity with the Palestinian people.” The full text of the letter is here. You can find out more about TTIP and ways to get involved, including adding your signature to the petition...

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UK WILPF urges government to act for Middle East peace: arms sale embargo, diplomatic efforts and no military action

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in Crisis Response, Disarmament, Gender, Peace and Security, Human Rights, News | 0 comments

Concerned about dangerous and volatile situations, particularly in Syria, Iraq and Libyia, and the plight of civilians, especially women and children, UK WILPF asks how HM Government can help to bring peace to the Middle East and North Africa. It is not surprising that survivors of those situations put themselves into the hands of traffickers to try to save their families. Some end up seeking asylum in Europe; others die on the way. British Governments have been too ready to take military action in this region in the recent past, leaving chaos, violence and displaced people in their wake.  Yet there are still calls for more bombing and even further military intervention.  Please assure us that: There will be no further bombing raids by British personnel and Parliament will not be invited to vote to extend military action in the Middle East region There will be an embargo on British arms sales to any country in the region – including Israel Your Government will work to persuade all Security Council members, (including Russia) to stop selling arms and equipment to all sides in the region You will make personal diplomatic efforts to work with others  and through the United Nations to bring the factions in the region to a conference table in an effort to broker a negotiated settlement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 ‘Women Peace and Security’ will be at the heart of any agreement We must not let the situation in the Middle East escalate further while our attention is distracted elsewhere. WILPF International was a signatory to the letter published in The Guardian: The world must act to stop Syria’s suffering Letter to the Prime Minister, September...

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Join us in the week of mobilisation against corporate impunity

Posted by on Jul 6, 2015 in Human Rights, News | 0 comments

On Monday 6 July 2015, representatives from states across the world will gather in Geneva for the week-long first session of the intergovernmental working group (IGWG) towards a Treaty on Transnational Corporations (TNCs) and other business enterprises with regards to human rights. This will be the start of a series of negotiations that could lead to a legally binding treaty framing the work of transnational companies and finally making them unable to violate human rights with impunity. WILPF International is part of the Treaty Alliance, an alliance of a large number of organisations and networks working to end abuses committed by transnational companies. Getting a treaty in place is a long process, but the sooner we can get states on board, the sooner we can hold transnational corporations accountable for the crimes they commit. Land grabbing, suppression of protests, environmental degradation, collapsing factories, inhumane working conditions, and poisonous chemicals entering the food chain need to be a thing of the past, and a clear and effective justice mechanism needs to be established for the people whose rights have been violated. Read more from WILPF International and sign the UK petition calling on the government to put an end to abuses committed by British multinationals.        ...

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