Sessions

In addition to the plenaries, the main Conference Programme was made up of over 40 smaller sessions, ranging from practical hands-on workshops to panels, testimonials and more. The sessions were organised by WILPF and over 40 other civil society organisations, so you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.

You can still listen to recordings of the different sessions on our Voice Republic page. No less than 41 sessions are archived and downloadable as podcasts. Browse through everything from “Engaging Men and Boys for Gender Equality” to “Militarism and the environment” and learn more about women’s power to stop war.


Panels

A Transformative WPS Agenda: Using a Masculinities Perspective to Challenge Militarism
- Women Peacemakers Program
During this interactive panel discussion, WPP will share insights gained regarding their work on incorporating a critical masculinities perspective on war, its connections to power, violence and militarism, and how it opens spaces of effective nonviolent alternatives for advancing a transformative Women, Peace and Security agenda.

Academia and Grassroots Activism: Bridging the Gap – WILPF
How Can Feminist Researchers Contribute to Feminist Peace Activism? Feminists in academia and academically trained feminist researchers do not always produce research that can be practically relevant and user-friendly to feminist activists doing peace and justice work. This session will explore – using gritty case studies and candid personal experiences – how formal research can be 1) feminist and credible, as well as 2) accessible and useable. Among the topics discussed will be: questions pursued; accountability; language; data; audiences.

Banning Nuclear Weapons – WILPF
We will look at the historical role and contributions of WILPF to advancing nuclear disarmament since 1945 and learn about the conferences on humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons that brought renewed focus and urgency on banning and ultimately eliminating nuclear weapons. There will be room for discussion after brief thematic introductions.

Engaging with the Security Sector: Opportunities, Risks, Skills and Tactics
Cordaid, DCAF & Institute for Inclusive Security
This panel will bring together women from a range of countries to share strategies, challenges & successes in engaging with security sector institutions. Speakers will examine how activists have worked with a variety of security institutions to define & create safety for women & their families & communities, & to ensure women’s voices are heard. Furthermore, lessons learned from Afghanistan in influencing NATO will be discussed.

Engaging Men and Boys for Gender Equality, Peace and Social Justice:
Rationale, Strategies, Accountabilities – Sonke Gender Justice
The session will focus on engaging men and boys for gender equality, peace and social justice: rationale, strategies, accountabilities, and will use an interactive talk-show format with many opportunities for audience participation.

Financing the Women and Peace and Security Agenda
Cordaid & Global Network of Women Peacebuilders
Cordaid and the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders will present a new initiative to generate more financial resources for the accelerated implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, particularly National Action Plans and alternative mechanisms of implementation.

Lesbians in the Peace Movement; Invisible and Active in Solidarity
Center for Women’s Global Leadership
Open discussion led by panel on: Past leaders of Peace Movements who were women lovers; Social construction of moral purity & innocence of ‘victims of war’ in contrast to lesbians as deviants; Lesbian dilemmas in anti-war movements in ‘aggressor’ countries; Responsibilities of feminist activists to open space for lesbians in today’s wars.

Mass Media and Conflict – WILPF
This open discussion will deal with the structures of influencing and manipulating the media discourse, especially in the context of peace and conflict, moving to better solutions and the necessity for alternatives. It will also cover the funding of independent media and possible reforms towards a better media system.

Military versus Social Spending  – WILPF
The session will focus on teaching participants something new and giving them concrete tools to be activists in this field. The panel will provide detailed information on military expenditures and their impact on peace and security, democracy, human rights, and development worldwide.

Militarism and the Environment - WILPF & International Peace Bureau
Reckless exploitation and unsustainable consumption of natural resources degrades the biosphere and worsens climate change. This session will explore how militarism and the military industrial complex, sustained by corporate, political and special interests, contribute. International dependence on production, research and development of weapons and other military requirements both initiates and exacerbates war and inequality worldwide. We will address ecological, societal and political dimensions considering human security needs and the measures, remedies and action required, reflecting efforts to get peace and disarmament into the UN Post 2015 Development Agenda. Our speakers will provide short inputs on; toxic remnants of war, weapons production, global exploitation of natural resources including minerals and extraction, food and water security, gender, health, climate, land, space and energy. You will bring and share perspectives and expertise. We will endeavor to draw conclusions for concrete action, through our movements, which address the vital needs to consider militarism on global sustainability agendas.

Overcoming Xenophobia: Social Justice -  Kvinna till Kvinna
The discussion will bring reflection on how feminist analysis can serve as a tool to break the spiral of xenophobia and inequality. It will also highlight how and why the women’s movement should be directly involved in combatting racism and xenophobia, as it is directly linked to its core struggle.

Peacekeeping and Sexual Violence: Exposing and Eliminating the Double Standard
Aids Free World
This interactive discussion will expose a glaring double standard: while the UN declares ‘zero tolerance’ for sexual exploitation and abuse, a presumption of immunity places a protective blue shield between sex abusers and the law. Exploring the UN’s failures to address sexual violence by peacekeepers, we’ll call for a refocus on victims’ rights.

Responding to VAW and Strengthening Access To Justice In Fragile and Transitional States
ActionAid Australia, Network of Eritrean Women & Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice
This moderated interactive panel discussion with international experts and grassroots women’s rights activists will examine violence against women in fragile and transitional states in Africa, with a particular focus on the experiences of women in Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Kenya and Uganda.

The Face of War is Economy – WILPF & Swisspeace
Conflict situations have specific impact on the conditions under which care services are delivered. Biologistic references of gender roles deprive women of their rights. Without challenging neo-liberalism, sustainable development of societies will be elusive. Only preventive economy, integrating women in crisis talks create perspectives.

The Human Right to Food:  
Women-Oriented Solutions to the Crisis of Corporate Takeover of Food Production – WILPF
Agricultural and chemical corporations falsely portray factory farming, mono-cropping for commodity export and genetic modification of seeds to withstand heavy herbicide and pesticide use as the solution to world hunger. Accelerated destructive land grabs for commercial agriculture and bio-fuels for export increase global warming and climate disruption, poverty of the dispossessed, migration, and armed conflict. The answers offered by this panel lie in community-controlled agro-ecology that respects local sovereignty and culture and food and worker safety.

The Impact of Missing Persons on Women – International Commission on Missing Persons
Most of those missing from war and rights abuses are men: most of those left behind are women. Flawed laws and refusal by officials to address the fate of missing persons create legal, economic and emotional challenges for such women. This presentation reviews these challenges and the International Commission on Missing Persons’ (ICMP) response.

Transnational Companies and Women’s Human Rights – WILPF
The panellists will provide concrete examples, from a gender’s perspective, of the harmful impacts of transnational companies activities on human rights and women’s rights; will inform on the current situation of the international initiative for accountability; and will provide concrete solutions to ensure accountability for transnational companies.

Women’s Roles in Peace and Transition Processes: Changing the Narrative – WILPF
The event will address why women are still excluded from participating in decision-making in peace and security and transition processes. What are the consequences of their exclusion and what happens when they are included? The speakers will look at existing policy frameworks, academic research and experiences from Yemen, Syria, Bosnia and Ukraine.


Workshops

Building the Peace Movement Together
Codepink & World Beyond War & Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
We will have a conversation on the core principles and pitfalls of successful movements. Come ready with your campaign, we will strategize and build the blocks for a movement to end Global Militarization.

Finding the next Jane Addams or Gertrude Baer – WILPF
As a collaboration between the WILPF Wageningen Student Group and a new, youthful WILPF Section in Delhi, this session aims to bring to the surface different challenges and opportunities experienced by young women leaders involved in peace and gender work and to provide lessons to inspire the next generation of peace makers.

From Global Agreements to Local Implementation: Beyond 1325 – WILPF
This four-part workshop series tackles how to ensure international instruments are implemented at the local level and actually make a difference on the ground. Aimed at local practitioners and activists, these are not to be missed if you want to learn how to advocate succesfully!

Arms Trade Treaty
This workshop will focus on national implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and its gender-based violence provision. It will focus on WILPF’s work to prevent gender-based violence and promote women’s participation within disarmament and arms control, and will share practical advice and expertise from a national perspective.

CEDAW
The purpose of this workshop is to discuss and share good practices in grassroots women’s activism at the international level. It will explain how local actors can participate in the work of the CEDAW committee, and what their participation at the international level could change at the local and national level. The session will also draw special attention to CEDAW’s new General Recommendation 30 and how it can be particularly useful.

Feminist Playbook for Peace: Re-owning SCR 1325
The purpose of this workshop is to provide a space for engagement about the vision and tools of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. What’s in the Feminist Playbook for Peace that’s not in UN Resolutions? What tools are available to push implementation? How can the conflict prevention pillar of the agenda be strengthened?

Universal Periodic Review
The purpose of this workshop is to discuss and share good practices in grassroots women’s activism at the international level. It will explain how local actors can participate in the UPR mechanism with the help of international actors, and what their participation at the international level could change at at the local and national level.

Peace Negotiation Role-Play; Who’s Interested in Peace? – WILPF
Hosted by the WILPF Wageningen Student Group, This interactive role-play session will simulate the conditions of an actual peace negotiation and demonstrate the many different interests and complexities involved. By creeping into the skin of an involved party test your personal peacebuilding skills and learn how to negotiate for your interests.

Speed-dating with Professionals – WILPF
This session provides a buzzing and interactive meeting in small intimate groups. Instead of rotating among potential lovers, participants switch between different professionals in the peace movement. It offers a chance for professionals to exchange experiences and knowledge with one another, while newcomers can learn first-hand what’s it like to be working for sustainable peace. Hosted by the WILPF Wageningen Student Group, this is one not to miss for newcomers!

Students Generating Peace Activism:
Opportunities and Barriers in Academia and Beyond – WILPF & Mary Alys Trust
Feminist peace activist/academics are uniquely positioned to mentor new generations of activists. Our students can also teach us about the opportunities and the social, political, cultural, economic and religious barriers they face to become engaged. This session will help us to refocus our collective efforts and foster the needs of a new generation of activists, who will carry forward the work of the peace and justice movement.

Taking the Money Out of the Nuclear Weapons Industry – PAX
An interactive workshop where people can learn about whether their bank or pension fund invests in the companies involved in nuclear weapons maintenance and modernisation, and can take action on the spot to encourage divestment. How best practices from divestment campaigns can be applied to efforts to outlaw and eliminate nuclear weapons.


Local Highlights

Crossing Borders:
Regional and National Strategies to Prevent Conflict in West and Central Africa – WILPF
West and Central Africa as a region is currently facing several violent conflicts. The panel will share their expertise and the work they do together across national borders which is crucial to reach long-term sustainable peace. WILPF is growing stronger in the region and are critical agents for peace, disarmament, and women’s participation.

Fighting Impunity for Sexual Violence in Conflict: 
The Role of the ICC, National Jurisdiction and the Case of Colombia
The Coalition for the International Criminal Court, Sisma Mujer, ECCHR & European Parliament
Addressing SVC  is on the international agenda in a way not seen before. The UK Preventing SV Initiative is at the basis of groundbreaking commitments by the UN GA, the G8, and many other actors after the 2014 London SVC Global Summit. The landmark “Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender Based Crimes” published by the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC provides procedural guidelines for investigating and prosecuting sexual and gender-based crimes and hopes to serve as a guide to national authorities. How do these commitments translate into tangible changes? We will give an introduction to the recent international developments, followed by a case study on accountability for conflict-related sexual and gender-based crimes in Colombia, ending the session by contextualising the challenges in light of the persisting impunity worldwide and the role of the EU in promoting the fight against impunity for sexual and gender-based crimes.

Lessons Learned in the Former Yugoslavia
Supporting Women Affected by War Rape and Other Forms of GBV
Medica Mondiale & Admira
Since 1993 Medica Zenica and medica mondiale offer multidisciplinary support to women and girls affected by war rape and other forms of gender based violence, provide capacity building for NGOs and other key actors, focussing on Bosnia and Herzegovina and other countries of war and post-conflict. Admira (1994-2005, Utrecht), had the aim to train (mental) health professionals, social workers and volunteer care workers in the countries of former Yugoslavia to support them to assist survivors of war and sexual violence and to support their NGO’s. In this session Lessons Learned will be discussed, based on an evaluation of over 100 Admira training programs – a set of 20 modules still useful today – as well as on the results of the research “We are still alive” on the long term consequences of war rape and coping strategies of survivors in Bosnia and Herzegovina, published by Medica Zenica and medica mondiale, 2014.

Militarisation and Human Trafficking: The Case of the US-Mexico Border – WILPF
Conflict by apolitical gangs rather than paramilitaries is unique to Latin America, host to the world’s most violent conflict. The resulting displacement increases risks for human trafficking. These issues will be discussed along with the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border, WILPF U.S. immigration statement, and is hosted by WILPF U.S. in collaboration with Violeta Campos Cabral, member of WILPF Mexico.

Women and Peace in Pakistan: Challenges and Opportunities - WILPF
The session will share dynamic history of Pakistani women’s struggle for peace and human rights and provide a context to understand the challenges Pakistani women face in 2015. Geo- politics, armed extremism and militant Islam view will be discussed. Strategies will be discussed for involving women from other countries to support women in Pakistan.

Women as Agents for Change – Promoting Peace and Security in the MENA Region - WILPF
The event will address the diverse and complex role of women organisations in addressing peace and security issues across the region. Women human rights defenders will share how they are organising to change and provide solutions to the challenges of the current security framework by using different strategies and frameworks.

Women Confronting ISIS: Local Strategies and States’ Responsibilities MADRE
This session offers a unique and timely opportunity to engage with locally-based Iraqi and Syrian women activists working across sectarian lines, as well as with international experts, to address the crisis of women’s human rights in areas controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).


Civil Society Reviews

Consultation on the Women, Peace and Security High-Level Review – WILPF
This is a strategic consultation on the Women, Peace and Security 2015 High-Level Review and Global Study. The 15th anniversary of Resolution 1325 must be about concrete commitments and actions on gendering peace; delivering new funding and actions to implement the whole agenda. This session will be very participatory and organised to hear your input!

Post 2015 Development Agenda – Towards Sustainable Development Goals Post 2015 Women’s Coalition
This session will bring together women activists from different regions working on women peace and security issues with the aim of promoting meaningful engagement at the regional and national levels to enhance feminist movement building and identifying strategic areas of collaboration in the overall post 2015 sustainable development agenda processes. In this regard, the proposed breakout session will bring together experts and analyse how peace and security impacts women, communities, and national socio-political trajectories.


Testimonials

Assessing Needs and Risks: Women HR Defenders – International Civil Society Action Network 
In light of the rise in extremism, military rule & increased repression, this session will examine threats facing WHRDs in the MENA/Asia region. We will outline the work and circumstances for these women, provide an overview of existing/needed protections & support frameworks, & highlight efforts by WHRDs to organize and address these needs.

Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict: Nothing About Us Without Us
Survivors United for Action & International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender in Conflict
This panel will amplify the voices of survivors of sexual violence in conflict and their key messages to the leaders of the world. They will provide specific recommendations on what’s needed to end this scourge and bring peace to their communities.

Women’s Peacebuilding Networks: Uniting for Peace
Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice & Women’s Regional Network
How do like-minded women develop networks for peace? Bringing voices from the field and rooted in a practitioner’s perspective, this creative, interactive session will explore the models, challenges and successes of bringing grassroots voices to the fore and communicating women’s peacemaking agency to stakeholders at all levels.


Films

Six Days – Kvinna till Kvinna
Three women, three wars, one dream. Lanja is a journalist in Iraq fearlessly fighting against honor violence. Maia in Abkhazia battles archaic customs like ‘bride kidnapping’. Nelly runs a women’s shelter in the slums of Monrovia, Liberia. A universal story of women’s courage and survival in the aftermath of war, the session will feature shortened versions of the full-length documentary and space for discussion with the women featured in the film.

Women on the Frontlines Against Extremism and Militarism in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia: A Panel Discussion and Short Film Screenings – Peace is Loud
Peace is Loud will present scene selections from The Trials of Spring, a full-length documentary film and series of online shorts that share the stories of women’s leadership in the 2010 and 2011 uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, and Libya. The intersecting stories reveal the vital and underreported role women play in shaping the region’s future. A discussion will follow the screening, featuring members of the film team and women activists from the MENA region.


Regional Meetings

Finally, the Conference will feature informal regional meetings for anyone interested in connecting to others from the same region. These meetings will offer a chance to discuss regional issues, create new regional partnerships and exchange views on Conference outcomes together. More specific information on each regional meeting will follow soon.

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