Reaching Critical Will’s work on gender and disarmament

For over 100 years, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom has articulated the links between militarism and violent masculinities, armed conflict and military expenditure, and the advancement of women’s equality and rights and the development of sustainable peace and justice. As the disarmament programme of WILPF, Reaching Critical Will seeks to achieve disarmament, challenge militarism and violent masculinities, and confront gender discrimination through monitoring and reporting on international forums such as the United Nations and other meetings of governments, as well as through research, policy analysis, advocacy, and collaboration with international civil society campaigns.

To this end, we research, analyse, and highlight gendered impacts of the use and trade of weapons; gender diversity in disarmament discussions, negotiations, and processes; and gendered perspectives on disarmament and arms control.

We are also engaged with preventing gender-based violence by addressing arms transfers and the proliferation and use of weapons. Reaching Critical Will, together with partner organisations, successfully advocated for the Arms Trade Treaty to be the first ever treaty to recognise the link between gender-based violence and the international arms trade. We are working to provide information to diplomats, expert officials, and civil society groups on how best to implement the ATT with a view to preventing gender-based violence. In August 2015, we published a paper on this topic, and another analysing the ATT, UN Programme of Action (UNPoA) on small arms and light weapons, and other multilateral instruments from a gendered perspective. In 2016 we published a report that provides tools and guidelines for effective implementation of the ATT and UNPoA provisions related to gender-based violence.

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