Women's WG


In the early 1980s, a group of pacifist feminists from across Europe united to protest the buildup of arms and nuclear weapons. Together, they established 24 May as International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament. On this day, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) honours their legacy and that of women everywhere leading the struggle against militarism. As feminist peace activists from around the world, WILPF continues to demand that governments take immediate action to end the daily threat and impact of weapons on people and communities everywhere

Since 2016, US Congress has been having an extended debate to expand the current draft registration to women. However, it decided to delay its decision and assigned a Military, National, and Public Service Commission (NCMNPS) to study this issue. In March of this year, the National Commission presented its final report in which it recommended to extend the draft registration to women. There are two bills pending in the Congress at the moment: to end draft registration and abolish the Selective Service System or to implement the National Commission recommendations including requiring women to register for the draft.

The WRI Women's Working Group was formally established in 1985 at WRI Triennial Conference in India. From that moment on, a very important work continued, to which several anti-militarist and / or feminist women from WRI's network joined. The women's working group had an impact worth remembering, highlighting and continuing. This piece gathers the reflections of some of the women who were an active part of the working group, sharing their experiences and the impact they consider the group had on both WRI, and on their activism and personal life. Also, you can find at the end of this story a timeline assembled by Joanne Sheehan with help from Ellen, Dorie, Cynthia Cockburn, her files and memory, that briefly summarises WWG trajectory.

Exciting news! Piecing it Together, the WRI's Feminism and Nonviolence Study group's extraordinary pamphlet of 1983 has just been published in Catalan by the Institut Català Internacional per la Pau.

Sheena Duncan - for many years the president of the Black Sash, a nonviolent women's organisation in South Africa - has died at the age of 78.

Sheena is honoured in the first sentence of WRI's recent published anthology Women Conscientious Objectors:

It is estimated that women comprised up to 70% of Aceh's pre-tsunami population of four million people. Men fled the war or emigrated in search of work. According to a short update by Nonviolence International: "Given that more men survived the tsunami because of their physical strength and speed, a horrendous percentage of those killed probably were women and girls."

Gender Resources

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Bridge is an on-line database of materials on gender mainstreaming, gender experts and gender and development: BRIDGE, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9RE, UK. Tel. +44 (0) 1273 606261; +44 (0) 1273 621202.

After a powerful sharing by gender trainer Gladys Gbappy-Brima of Sierra Leone, the last day of the consultation began with a Training Market. Participants were encouraged to share and 'shop' for training resources that they needed. Blank charts labeled 'Networks', 'Strategies', 'Exercises and techniques' and 'Written materials' were placed around the large plenary hall, and groups congregated in front of each chart, based on what participants needs.


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Welcome to this special issue of the War Resisters' International (WRI) Women's Working Group newsletter. This issue is devoted to the Asking the Right Questions: Nonviolence Training and Gender consultation, which took place October 3 to 8, 2004, in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Like all good gatherings, the Asking the Right Questions international consultation on nonviolence training and gender raised more questions than it answered. More than 300 inquiries and application were received by the organizers of the consultation, indicating a high interest in the issue of gender-sensitive nonviolence training.

An International Women's Consultation for Trainers

October 3-8, 2004
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Costs: €200 (Includes materials, food and accommodation)

What is it, and why?

Are you a nonviolence trainer, wondering how to introduce gender issues into your work? A community-based health care or development worker, a student organizer or trade unionist who wishes to integrate nonviolence into your trainings, activism, or movement?

Subscribe to Women's WG

We have had a kind offer from an individual donor, who will match up to £5,000 of donations from others - so by supporting War Resisters' International today your donation is worth double!