International Women’s Peace Movements

Platform at the International Congress of Women at The Hague, April 1915. Sixth person from the left side: Jane Addams (President of the Congress), LSE Library.
 “Women of Europe in Action for Peace” Conference, organized by Women's International League for Peace and Freedom ; WILPF), on November, the 27th 1981 at the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, Nationaal Archief Source: Wikimedia Commons


International women’s peace movements took on different forms: in the 19th century, internationally minded women pacifists often initially built contacts between two or three countries. In the first half of the 20th century, international organisational structures were established. Moreover, some existing international women’s organisations turned towards peace work in the mid-1920s and 1930s. After 1945, European women’s peace work was confronted with new political constellations and global perspectives. Campaigning against the arms race led to new activities which were less formally organised but influenced female pacifism in many countries. In feminist pacifist discourse, peace was always linked to other topics which were seen as reciprocal, influential and highly important for future peacekeeping, such as women’s rights, democracy, nutrition and socioeconomic contexts, education or environmentalism.