Thursday, June 16, 2011

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom: a kind of overview

United States WILPF Principles

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom was founded in 1915 during World War I with Jane Addams as its first president. WILPF works to achieve through peaceful means world disarmament; full rights for women; racial and economic justice; an end to all forms of violence; and to establish those political, social, and psychological conditions which can assure peace, freedom, and justice for all.

Peace is more than the absence of war or the maintenance of order through force. Peace requires the dedication to nonviolent means for the resolution of conflict and the building of institutions for world development and world community. WILPF believes that to achieve freedom and justice in our own country and peaceful relations with other countries, we must build a non-exploitive society.

As our Third International Congress of 1921 stated, we must “transform the economic system in the direction of social justice.” Peace and freedom are indivisible. Freedom means equal rights and responsibilities for all under a system of law based on justice. It includes the right to a government responsive to the will and the needs of the people, and freedom from political or economic subjugation. Freedom requires safeguarding minority rights and the right of dissent.

For more on U.S. WILPF go to

International WILPF Aims and Principles

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

World peace with total and universal disarmament

Abolition of violence and coercion in the settlement of conflict and their substitution in every case of negotiation and conciliation

Strengthening of the United Nations system

Continuous development and implementation of international law

Political and social equality and economic equity

Co-operation among all people

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.

WILPF sees as its ultimate goal 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 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.

(WILPF) contributes to analysis of these issues, and through its many activities, educates, informs and mobilizes women for action everywhere.

WILPF has consultative status (category B) with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and has special relations with the International Labour Office (ILO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other organisations and agencies.

WILPF holds a triennial Congress for members and in interim years an International Executive Board meeting is convened. The 2004 Congress was held in Gothenburg, Sweden. The 2007 Congress was held in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. In 2011, the Congress will be held in Costa Rica.

For more on International WILPF, go to

Linda's Hearth note: I have been hoping for years to become involved with WILPF, it is an organization I admire on so many levels and fronts. But so far there hasn't been a single month my budget has afforded me the small membership cost. Finally today it occurs to me I can be a more explicit supporter of WILPF anyway. So here's a page from their handsome local website and my first intentional step in this direction.

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