UK WILPF joins calls for an end to violence against women and girls. November 25 is the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the start of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence campaign. UK WILPF calls for an end to violence against women and girls through the inclusion of women in political decisions and peace negotiations.

The UK Section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) calls for an end to violence against women and girls by including women in political decisions and peace negotiations.

WILPF Secretary-General Madeleine Rees OBE recently pointed out that of 40 recent peace agreements around the world, only one bears the signature of a woman. Women missing from meaningful positions of power results in many missed opportunities for female contributions to peaceful relations between citizens and countries.

On this day, 25 November 2014, the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, WILPF women want to remind you that there are other ways to settle disagreements and other options for better ways of living.

Violence is a choice. WILPF women choose non-violence as a means and as an end. What do you choose?

If governments continue to increase the amount of money they spend on arms and militaries, it should come as no surprise that sustainable, long-lasting peace remains elusive. As a recent WILPF report says, “You get what you pay for.”

WILPF campaigns for disarmament, beginning with a reduction in government military expenditure and a redistribution of those funds towards organisations that heal and care for people – hospitals, surgeries, schools, nurseries, care for the elderly and improved services and access for people with disabilities.

This is all the more urgent given recent analysis by the World Economic Forum revealing a growing gap between men and women in the UK workforce.

The Global Gender Gap Report now ranks the UK 26th in the world, down from 18th last year and failing to make the top 20 this year in any of the four categories – economy, education, health and politics. http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2014/

Inequality engenders violence, but working together, men and women can become partners in equality.

Use your vote in the forthcoming elections to choose MPs that will find ways to increase the power of women in the UK and use gender-aware budgeting in policy decisions. Ask your prospective candidates: “Do you think the UK government can improve policies to reduce violence against women and girls? And if so, what are your suggestions achieving those changes?”

Join WILPF’s Women’s Power to Stop War campaign and have your say in setting the peace agenda for the next 100 years. http://www.womenstopwar.org/