Extract from WILPF’s ‘Manifesto’ 2015

‘We, members of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, on the centenary of our foundation, pay tribute to the courageous and far-sighted women who, amid the carnage of the First World War, took a bold initiative for peace and brought our movement into being. We affirm their belief that women have a particular interest in stopping war and particular skills we can bring to the task. We remain convinced that the achievement of peace, and the achievement of equality and justice for all people, together with the full inclusion and representation of women in all our diversity, are inseparable goals. After one hundred years that have brought another World War, five times more deadly than the first, the invention of the most destructive weapons ever known, increasing militarisation, and the emergence of new kinds of armed actor and conflict, we renew WILPF’s commitment to eradicating war by addressing its root causes. Among them we identify:

• Militarism as a way of thought, and the militarisation of societies, such that perceived threats are likely to be met with weaponry rather than words;

• The capitalist economic system, involving the exploitation of the labour and resources of the many by the few, wantonly harming people and the environment, generating conglomerates of global reach and unaccountable power;

• The nation-state system as it is today, involving dominant states, imperialist projects, inter-state rivalry, occupation, contested borders, and, inside those borders, all too often, failure of democracy, political repression and intolerance of diversity;

• Social systems of racist supremacy, cultural domination and religious hierarchy; • Patriarchy, the subordination of women by men, in state, community and family, perpetuated by the social shaping of men and women into contrasted, unequal and limiting gender identities, favouring violent masculinities and compliant femininities’

This Manifesto marks the centenary in  28 April 1915, at The Hague in neutral Netherlands, [of when]:

‘1,136 peace-seeking women from twelve countries, including nations on both sides in the conflict, sat down together to discuss how to stop the carnage. They did not argue about the relative responsibility of the parties to the conflict – indeed they believed that everyone, no matter where they lived, must shoulder some of the blame. Their aim was rather to find a mechanism of mediation that could end the conflict there and then. In the longer term they were determined to identify and eradicate the causes of war. The four-day conference ended with the formation of the International Women’s Committee for Permanent Peace, which dispatched women envoys to heads of state in fourteen countries, urging a peace commission of neutral states.’

Read more of this ‘history-making’ Manifesto here :





  1. Thank you. I will be thinking of you. Geraldine

    “History is not dead and gone, it lives on in us in the way it shapes our thought, especially our thought about what is possible.” Daphne Marlatt from Sylvia Martin, ‘Passionate Friends’, Onlywomen Press, 2001

    Geraldine Robertson Tel: 03 9486 1808 Mobile: 0412 8653 10 wmnsweb@iprimus.com.au

    Women’s Web – Women’s Stories, Women’s Actions http://www.womensweb.com.au Women Working Together suffrage and onwards http://www.womenworkingtogether.com.au Prejudice and Reason http://www.prejudiceandreason.com.au

    • Many thanks Geraldine for all your important work – difficult in this almost hysterical deluge of glorification …

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