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No peace without equality: end violence against women and girls

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 Bank) and transnational corporations (including private military companies)

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