Portrait of Joy Onyesoh

Letter from the President

More than ever, I'm so proud to be part of this amazing global movement of women pushing boundaries on peace building ...

Sometimes people mistakenly think that we, as a women’s organisation, are solely advocating for women’s rights. But that is not the case. At Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, we are working for a just peace – what we call a feminist peace – that serves everyone, no matter how we identify or where we are born. 

In 2019, WILPF members around the world made strides in the global movement for change – a movement that is working to build feminist peace for all and a brighter future for the next generation, and the next.

In this year’s unique annual report, we are proud to highlight the impact WILPF members created in 2019 by sharing some of their powerful stories of change.  

I deeply appreciate all sisters participating in and leading WILPF Sections around the world, who are working committedly on the Women, Peace and Security agenda. I recognise the fact that some of us are working under difficult and life-threatening circumstances, and that we have kept the WILPF spirit alive despite the challenges we face. 

Sustaining peace requires consistent and committed political will to move out of our comfort zone and challenge dominant narratives on gender, conflict analysis and power. In doing this work, you, my sisters, are all heroines of peace. 

More than ever, I am so proud to be part of this amazing global movement of women pushing boundaries on peace building and taking a formidable stand on ensuring that feminist peace is entrenched as a framework for a just and inclusive world. 

For over a century, we have consistently shown the difference feminist peace makes in the world. We have reflected, sacrificed and compromised to ensure we are each living the values we uphold, and we have worked hard to move forward as a united team despite the distances between us. The challenges we have faced in 2020 with the escalation of COVID-19 have underscored more than ever the fact that we are all interdependent – as an organisation, and as people – and the need to keep pushing for our collective interests. 

From east to west and from north to south, our message rings loud and clear: we are focused on shifting realities and entrenching a new normal which recognises that equality matters and is central to sustainable peace. We are creating bridges and spaces for discussion so that women can play their rightful role in decision-making and help shape the responses that affect their communities and lives. 

As we continue to pursue change in a changed world, we are committed to using our core strengths – feminist analysis and advocacy promoted by a feminist community – to tackle issues of patriarchy, militarism and neoliberalism. 

The task ahead is daunting, but we know that we have consistently risen to challenges and pushed through barriers that seemed insurmountable. Thank you for your dedication, your compassion and your commitment to our mission as we continue to keep the WILPF spirit alive in pursuit of a better world. 

 

Joy Ada Onyesoh

Ph.D
International President
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom