Universal disarmament has been one of WILPF’s goals since its founding in 1915, but why do we care so much about disarmament?
We live in a world where there are 15,000 nuclear weapons in the hands of nine countries, that could be detonated at any moment, leaving more deaths than atomic bombs (http://www.icanw.org/the-facts/nuclear-arsenals/).
Military spending in the world amounts to 17 trillion dollars each year. To give you an idea, in 2015 military spending in the United States accounted for 54% of its discretionary spending, while education received only 7% of that budget (https://bit.ly/2rg4XsQ; https://archive.attn.com/stories/11036/how-military-and-education-spending-compare-america).
Armed violence kills 535,000 people every year in the world, as if the entire population of a city like Tucson, Arizona would completely disappear every year.
In Colombia, the situation is not very different:
Colombia is the country that invested the most in military spending in 2017 in South America, according to SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Studies Institute).
Since 2018, Colombia is a "global partner" of NATO, the largest military alliance in the world, which translates into military cooperation and support in matters related to electronic and maritime security, the fight against terrorism and organized crime.
According to Medicina Legal (2017), 53% of the murders of women in Colombia are committed with firearms (http://www.medicinalegal.gov.co/documents/20143/262076/Forensis+2017+Interactivo.pdf/0a09fedb-f5e8-11f8-71ed-2d3b475e9b82 , Page 95)
In this situation, the Liga Internacional de Mujeres por la Paz y la Libertad (Limpal Colombia) fights for disarmament understood not only as of the surrender of weapons by armed groups but also as a paradigm shift of weapons as tools to resolve conflicts. We insist on the importance of the Colombian State to exercise strict control over the legal and illegal weapons circulating in the country and to reduce military spending, taking into account the post-conflict process it is going through. In addition, we believe in the need to analyze the differential impact that arms have on women.
In 2017 we launched the campaign "Women for Disarmament: More Life, Less Weapons" whose objective is to put the importance of control over small arms and light weapons in the public opinion and in the political agenda of Colombia for the prevention of armed violence against women. Through an investigation that has the same name (taggear investigación de la página 5 “Mujeres por el desarme: una mirada al desarme desde la Resolución 1325”), we denounce how the proliferation of this type of weapon exacerbates violence against women and increases the degree of lethality of them, in addition to other violence that weapons make possible such as psychological violence, sexual violence, human trafficking, among others.
Some of our standpoints on disarmament are:
It is essential to foster critical antimilitarist consciousness in Colombia.
Spending on arms goes against the post-conflict process that Colombia is going through.
The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to prevent the entry of arms into Colombia used for human rights violations should be ratified immediately in accordance with the commitments assumed by Colombia in the framework of the 20th session of the Universal Periodic Review before the CEDAW (link note on the subject).
It is necessary to transform the paradigm of security based on weapons and militarization by one that puts human security at the center, focusing on women.
The subsistence of violence is due, among other things, to the difficulties of the Colombian State in maintaining its monopoly on arms.