CENTENARY OF THE 2nd CONGRESS OF WOMEN’S INTERNATIONAL
LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM IN ZURICH

 MAY 11 2019

Programm deutsch
Program english

The INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF WOMEN FOR PERMANENT PEACE, established in The Hague in April 1915, met in May 1919 in Zurich, Glockenhof. At this 2nd congress, the organisation changed its name into WOMEN’S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM/WILPF.

The WOMEN’S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM/WILPF met again 100 years later with friends and partners from feminist and peace organisations at Glockenhof in Zurich May 2019 to celebrate the centenary and remind us about the actuality of women’s movement building for sustainable peace.

We Will Continue to Advocate for Permanent Peace

 

Learning from the past, getting inspired by the present and be visionary for the future

read more in English
comments in German and English
media link Zeit
Media Tagesanzeiger Zürich
read WILPF on Versailles treaty
Southwark news
P&O Magazine
le Monde diplomatique Hungary
+ German translation

Highlights from the program

WS 3 Disarmament – European initiatives, led by Giovanna Pagani, Italy and Irmgard Hofer, Germany

WS 4: Peace Education and Environmental Justice, led by Virginie Poyetton, CH, Margarethe Tingstad Norway

WS 5 Women Vote Peace, led by the project organisers, Keti Bakradze Austria, Heidi Meinzolt Germany, Carmen Magallon Spain, Slawomira Walczewska Poland

Carrying the message from the Present to the Future
6 contributions by young women from the 6 Workshops

Background

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”.