Mission & Strategy

The Women, Peace and Security Programme was founded by Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) in 2000 to work on ensuring women’s rights and participation are not disregarded in international peace and security efforts.

Our work on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) advances permanent peace through advocacy for feminist solutions that prevent and respond to conflicts and crises, including through feminist root cause analysis, conflict prevention and the meaningful participation of women and civil society in peace and security. Through our analysis, campaigning and advocacy, we challenge gendered power dynamics and aim to transform them through feminist movement-building. Our advocacy brings the perspectives and recommendations of WILPF members and partners from around the world into discussions on WPS at the global level. In alignment with our antimilitarist feminist values, thematically we focus on issues that include civil society and women human rights defenders, nonviolent and feminist alternatives to traditional and militarised peace and security processes and prevention of violence.

Our key focus areas on WPS are:

  • Conflict Prevention: We engage in conflict prevention efforts and advocate for peaceful resolutions to conflicts, with a focus on addressing gender-specific impacts and ensuring women’s voices are heard.
  • Participation: We work to promote gender equality and empower women in conflict-affected regions, ensuring their full, equal, meaningful, effective and safe participation in peace processes and decision-making.
  • Gender-Responsive Approaches: We work to ensure that gender and human rights are incorporated across peace and security discussions and processes.
  • Holistic WPS Agenda: We advocate for the holistic implementation of the WPS Agenda, grounded in human rights, nonviolence and antimilitarist feminism.


To support these efforts, our work includes: Monitoring and advocating for the implementation of the WPS Agenda; Safeguarding the vital role of civil society in the WPS Agenda; Drawing attention to gendered violations inside and outside of armed conflict; and Supporting regional, national and local action on WPS.

WILPF’s Women, Peace and Security Programme work aligns with WILPF's 2022-2025 International Programme. Our vision is one of a world of permanent peace built on feminist foundations of freedom, justice, nonviolence, human rights, and equality for all, where people, the planet, and all its other inhabitants coexist and flourish in harmony. WILPF is now a global, feminist peace organisation with member Sections and Groups in over 40 countries across the Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa, and with partners around the world. To achieve this mission, we have four main goals: transformed mindsets, violence prevented, feminist alternatives, and a powerful movement.

Transform Mindsets

We envision a future where militarised mindsets are transformed, where we have shifted dominant attitudes and beliefs that champion discriminatory and destructive forms of power. Concepts of security will be reframed from violence and militarism to systems and structures that offer true peace and security, including a world free from weapons and well-resourced community and social infrastructure. Destructive gender norms will be transformed from harmful power relations to equal partnerships; from militaristic notions of masculinity to men and boys as allies of peace; and from simplistic male versus female stereotypes to the acceptance of more complex gender realities and identities.

To do this, we:

  • Raise awareness about the impacts of conflict, challenge patriarchy and rigid and inequitable gender norms, and mobilise men to actively oppose violence and work for feminist peace and gender justice.
  • Advocate for Women, Peace and Security and Youth, Peace and Security agendas grounded in human rights and local perspectives, championing prevention first and resisting militarism.
  • Promote feminist perspectives on global action agendas, such as the Women, Peace and Security and the UN Sustainable Development Goals that align with WILPF’s vision and values. 
  • Advance anti-militarist and ecofeminist perspectives in international frameworks such as UN human rights instruments, the Sustainable Development Goals, the Women, Peace and Security agenda, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Violence Prevented

We envision a future where violence is prevented through peaceful and gender-responsive means that address root causes of conflict. Gender-based violence will be prevented and eradicated in all its forms and from all spheres of life, both in times of conflict and peace. Conflict will be addressed and resolved through nonviolent, inclusive means, including dialogue, mediation, and diplomacy. Justice and gender equality is at the heart of conflict prevention.

To do this, we:

  • Pressure states to fulfill their human rights obligations, including extraterritorial; challenge discrimination, exclusion, oppression, and apartheid; and demand accountability and redress.
  • Advocate for policies, laws, and programmes that advance gender justice, human rights, and peace; counter the backlash against gender equality; and advocate for prevention and redress of gender-based violence and discrimination.
  • Act for the protection and expansion of civic engagement and action, both offline and online, challenging laws and practices that prevent people from protesting or expressing their views.
  • Mobilise solidarity, dialogue, and feminist diplomacy in response to crises together with women and peace activists in situations of concern.
Feminist Alternatives

We envision a future where systems of oppression are replaced with feminist alternatives that champion human rights, demilitarisation, accountability, and restitution, and where a just, ecological transition has been achieved, led by economic policies that prioritise the well-being of people and the planet. Crisis and security responses, including responses to issues related to climate change, health crises, migration, and other critical concerns, will be demilitarised and will instead be led by properly trained and resourced civilian disaster response efforts. The original principles of the United Nations to guarantee peace, justice, and human rights will be restored. It will be protected from corporate capture and corruption and instead driven by public engagement and accountability. Global action agendas for a better world will be pursued and implemented to their fullest extent.

To do this, we:

  • Bring the gendered impacts of armed conflict and the arms trade to the attention of decision-makers, facilitate women’s access to national, regional, and multilateral systems, such as human rights mechanisms and the UN Security Council. 
  • Advance community-based, national, and regional peacebuilding initiatives. Resist polarisation and promote understanding of the underlying cycle of violence.
A Powerful Movement

Feminist activism underpins the success of each of our first three goals. We envision a powerful, inclusive, and intersectional feminist movement that connects peace activists and other social justice movements on a global scale as we pursue collective action for change. Women and other feminist activists will have real and effective opportunities to bring the realities of conflict from a gender perspective to the attention of decision-makers, including at peace tables and as part of long-term peacebuilding strategies, and will have their solutions for peace heard and acted upon fully. The achievement of a safe and enabling environment will ensure activists can promote disarmament, human rights, and peace without fear of harassment, threats, or attacks. Women’s and feminist organisations will be widely supported and properly resourced.

To do this, we:

  • Support peace activism, including through peace education, dialogue, reconciliation, local disarmament initiatives, and women’s involvement in peace processes.