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.
10.30 WELCOME ADDRESSES:
WILPF CH, Swiss peace organisations from the coordinating team and Zurich authorities
11.00 KEYNOTE SPEECH:
Where is WILPF now? JOY Onyesoh, WILPF international president
11.15 THEATRE PLAY:
Re-enactment of the Zurich congress with the participation of Jane Addams/US, Clara Ragaz CH, Aletta Jacobs/Holland, Anita Augspurg, Lida Gustava Heymann/Germany, Chrystal Macmillan, UK, Yella Hertzka, Leopoldine Kulka/Austria, Rosa Genoni/Italy, Jeanne Mélin/France, NN. Poland
12.30 APERO/ LIGHT LUNCH
served by the city of Zurich
15:00- 17.30 WORKSHOPS
- United Nations – a feminist security council
- Violence against women, anti-discrimination, women trafficking, migration
- Disarmament, nuclear and conventional
- Peace education and environmental justice
- WOMEN VOTE PEACE – voting rights in times of growing right-wing threats and preparation of the European elections 2 weeks later
- Peace movement looking forward! Round Table of Swiss and international Peace Organisations, led by IFOR-MIR
17.30 COME TOGETHER
18.00 PUBLIC PROCLAMATION
Project Partners and Contacts:
- Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Heidi Meinzolt, firstname.lastname@example.org, Helena Nyberg, email@example.com
- Swiss Peace Council (SPC), firstname.lastname@example.org
- Women for Peace- Switzerland, Agnes Hohl, email@example.com
Please contact us to participate!
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”.