IAW supports the efforts of the United Nations in working on a universal declaration on the human right to peace. The unique feature of such a declaration would be that once agreed upon it would represent a substantive commitment of the UN family of nations to build a preventive culture of peace. It would help to protect the human rights defined in so many important UN documents, but so often endangered or lost in conflict; and especially for women.
IAW supports the world-wide implementation of UN Security Resolution 1325 and subsequent United Nations Security resolutions for women, peace and security. We are convinced that a UN-wide Declaration on the Human Rights to Peace would strengthen their implementation and enhance women’s engagement as advocates, partners and agents of change, FOR PEACE.
The work of the IAW Peace Commission is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Charter of the United Nations, International Humanitarian Law. It concentrates on the implementation of UNCSRes. 1325 on women peace and security and its following resolutions in the light of the possibilities of monitoring and reporting offered by Recommendation 30 of the CEDAW Committee Read more
To this central objective the following tasks as described by the Action Programme 2005-2010 are followed through by written and oral statements, lobbying activities with selected governments, or through coalitions with like-minded NGOs:
- oppose institutional, structural and relational violence, such as female feticide, harmful traditional and new practices;
- promote intercultural and inter-religious dialogue;
- work for the control and reduction of small arms and light weapons (SALW) and fight against their illicit trade;
- support the International Criminal Court in its work to hold governments and individuals accountable for their violent acts particularly against women in times of war and civil conflict;
- help to prevent conflict over resources by protecting the environment and by supporting environmental education; form coalitions with other peace and anti-war activists.
Some IAW history:
The International Woman Suffrage Alliance,(IWSA), now International Alliance of Women, from its inception in 1904, stood for the right of women to vote, for equal citizenship, and the equal sharing of rights and responsibilities.
The women, meeting from 28 April to 1 May 1915 at the first women’s peace conference in The Hague were experienced feminists, such as Rosika Schwimmer, Aletta Jacobs, or Jane Addams, among others. Many of them members of the IWSA Board or active in IWSA member organizations. Yet, they decided to devote their energy primarily to the issue of peace.
IWSA President Margaret Corbett Ashby (1923-1946) wrote in the preface of a book “Women and Work in the League of Nations”, published 1927: “Peace is the most urgent necessity in the world”. In this text she expressed the strong view that women must be part of the peace process.
In 1926, at the Paris Conference, “Women into Citizen” notes on page 94, the passing of a resolution on peace and the League of Nations, calling, among others, for a permanent IAW peace committee. This call was implemented by the following Board meeting in Geneva by establishing the “Committee for Peace and the League of Nations” with Ruth Morgan, from New York, in the chair. In connection with the establishment of this Committee, an office of the Alliance was opened at Geneva at the instigation of Emilie Gourd, who lived in Geneva. At the Board meeting in Prague, 1927, a proposal of the Committee to hold a study conference in Amsterdam on aspects of the maintenance of peace, was supported.
The Peace Study Conference took place in November 1927. The approach to the subject was based on two main themes: Economic as well as political causes of unrest. ”The determination of the conference to know more profoundly about disarmament, security, and above all, arbitration, impressed experts which had come to explain matters”.
Once again IAW’s peace agenda became visible at the 14th International Congress in Interlaken, 11-16 August 1946, IAW’s first Congress after WWII with the adoption of an important peace resolution (see text attached). This Congress also adopted a Petition to the Paris Peace Conference in favour of the newly established international organisation: the United Nations.
During the coming decades IAW was blessed with excellent and passionate conveners for peace and international understanding such as Edith Anrep, Margaret Ingledew, and Hilda Tweedy. While Edith saw her main duty in analysing UN politics and transmitting them to IAW membership, Margaret concentrated on proposals for IAW constituency, how international understanding could best be promoted at national level. (Hertrampf, page 135).
During the UN Year of Peace in 1986, the IAW Commission on Peace through International Understanding held an important seminar in Bellinter, Ireland.