On October 21, WILPF held a panel discussion on 20 years of WPS implementation from the perspective of grassroots peace activists. The panel featured WILPF members and partners from Australia, Colombia, Libya, and Sweden, who spoke about their experiences working on WPS in their own contexts, and identified some of the progress, gaps and opportunities for making meaningful change.
Inas Miloud of the Tamazight Women’s Movement brought up the need for more intersectionality in WPS discussions on women’s meaningful participation, including with regards to indigenous women. Gabriella Irsten and Ludmilla Kwitko both highlighted the gap between rhetoric and action, including by countries that are vocal supporters of gender equality but continue to export arms and increase spending on militaries. Diana Salcedo López talked about how ideas of militarism and machismo become ingrained in societies, and that it is important to even look beyond the most visible signs of militarization towards deeper norms. All panelists affirmed that demilitarization and disarmament are critical to WPS implementation, but frequently overlooked in favor of other issues.
WILPF International President, Joy Onyesoh, was originally planned to speak on the panel but instead took to the streets to support #EndSARS mobilizing in Nigeria. Please read this Twitter thread with some remarks from her about this movement and the current situation in Nigeria.