TO THE CENTENARY OF THE 2nd CONGRESS OF WOMEN’S INTERNATIONAL
LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM IN ZURICH – ZURICH FOR PEACE
MAY 11 2019
The “INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF WOMEN FOR PERMANENT PEACE”, established in The Hague in April 1915, met again in Zurich, Glockenhof-Hotel in 1919, May 12-15. At this 2nd congress, the organisation changed its name into WOMEN’S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM/WILPF.
100 years later, WILPF (www.wilpf.org) is an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) and has in 2019 36 sections all over the world. WILPF brings together women from around the world who are united in working for peace by non-violent means and promoting political, economic and social justice for all. WILPF is the only women’s anti-war organisation recognised with consultative status at the United Nations.
We Will Continue to Advocate for Permanent Peace
Learning from the past, getting inspired by the present and be visionary for the future
Highlights from the program
The filmteam from Clapham films
The organising team: Diana Hrytshyna (Swiss Peace Council), Monika Wicki (Swiss Peace Council), Helena Nyberg (WILPF), Agnes Hohl (Women for Peace CH)
Lida Gustava Heymann (Adelheid Schmidt-Thomé) and Jeanne Mélin (Brigitte Castigneul)
WS 3 Disarmament – European initiatives, led by Giovanna Pagani, Italy and Irmgard Hofer, Germany
Entrance to Glockenhof, showing women vote peace
Key-note speech Natascha Wey, President of the Women of the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland
Welcome by Jane Addams by Martha Jean Baker
WG 1 “Reclaiming the United Nations as a Peace Organisation”, led by Andreas Zumach, journalist,
WS 4: Peace Education and Environmental Justice, led by Virginie Poyetton, CH, Margarethe Tingstad Norway
Rosa Genoni, Aletta Jacobs, Chrystal Mac Millan, Jane Addams, Clara Ragaz, Anita Augspurg
key note adress: Joy Oynesoh, WILPF President Nigeria
Mary Church Terrell by Valerie Bossmann-Quarshie
WS 5 Women Vote Peace, led by the project organisers, Keti Bakradze Austria, Heidi Meinzolt Germany, Carmen Magallon Spain, Slawomira Walczewska Poland
170 women and a few men in the public from 22 countries
congress opening Clara Ragaz by Laura Huonker
visit at the cimetery where Anita Augspurg and Lida Gustava Heymann are buried
WS 2 Gender Justice and Diversity today, led by Helena Trachsel Equal Opportunitys Zurich, CH
WS 6 Peace Movements looking forward, led by Monika Wicki, Agnes Hohl, Barbara Jost, Annelise Nicolodi, CH
Carrying the message from the Present to the Future
6 contributions by young women from the 6 Workshops
The women participating in the conference in 1919 were very emotional, meeting for the first time after being separated by WW1 and reflecting on a way out of the political and social disasters caused by the war. They demanded an end to the hunger blockade, spoke about their first experiences with women‘s voting rights and extensively discussed non-violence in education and in respect to the revolutionary movements they were experiencing in the month before the congress. A central issue was the request for the establishment of the League of Nations, preventing future wars and avoiding nationalism, on universal disarmament and the participation of women. At the end of the congress they elected a delegation to bring these resolutions to the “Peace negotiations” of the men in Versailles. Doors remained closed to their contributions!
As their ideas remain actual, the 100th anniversary of the conference at May 11 2019, is an excellent occasion to celebrate and remind their visions. WILPF Switzerland, WILPF international, together with Peace organisations in Switzerland, in Europe, and globally will unite in Zurich.
The conference #Zurich19 recalls the political and societal situation after the end of WW1, when courageous women campaigned for equal participation of women in prevention of future wars, and elaborated on the important role of civil society in peace making. The conference will give women and civil society space to express themselves as “agents of change”.