The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project is a university-chartered research center associated with the Department of History of The George Washington University

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Teaching Eleanor Roosevelt Glossary

The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) grew out of the Congress of Women, a 1915 gathering of 1,300 women to protest World War I. The women, who had come from all parts of Europe to work for peace, crafted twenty resolutions in an attempt to bring warring nations to the peace table and end the war. Determined to continue to work for peace, the Congress decided to hold another meeting once the war was over. After the armistice ended the fighting, the Congress planned to meet and put forth proposals to assist with the creation of the Treaty of Versailles; however, in 1919, the French government would not allow the German female delegates into the conference. The Congress of Women then moved its meeting to Zurich, Switzerland. By the end of the conference, the women grew increasingly dissatisfied with the Treaty of Versailles, arguing that it was more concerned with retaliation than peace. They then decided the Congress of Women must become a permenant organization and renamed it the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

WILPF continued its work throughout the years after 1919, remaining very involved in issues concerning peace and security of nations. They worked avidly for disarmament, with the active, public support of Eleanor Roosevelt, who often spoke at WILPF conferences and at other organizations in support of peace. In 1932, working with its Nobel Peace Prize- winning president, Jane Addams, WILPF members collected six million signatures for the World Disarmament Petition and delivered them to the World Disarmament Conference in Geneva. WILPF members also attended the UN planning conference in San Francisco and in 1946, Emily Greene Balch, WILPF's first international secretary, became the second WILPA leader to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

WILPF continues to work closely with the United Nations and other nonprofit organizations in campaigns against land mines, for nuclear disarmament, and for other humanitarian concerns.
 


Sources:

Cook, Blanche Wiesen. Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume One, 1884-1933. New York: Viking Press, 1992, 364.

Cook, Blanche Wiesen. Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume Two, 1933-1938. New York: Viking Press, 1999, 5, 122, 259, 331.

Women's International League for Peace of Freedom. "Historical Overview." Internet on-line. Available From http://www.wilpf.int.ch/about/bhist.htm.

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. "Highlights." Internet on-line. Available From http://www.wilpf.int.ch/about/highlights.htm.
 

For more information on WILPF, visit the following web site: