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News & Updates

UNIDIR-WIIS CoLab High-Level Panel: Feminist Approaches To International Security

28 FEBRUARY 2023 





The UNIDIR-WIIS CoLab high-level panel discussion on feminist approaches to international security, featured keynote addresses from Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and H.E. Tanja Fajon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of SloveniaThe event was moderated by Julia-Silvana Hofstetter, President of WIIS Switzerland and Dr. Robin Geiss, Director of UNIDIR.

This invite-only event was a collaboration between the Slovenian Mission in Geneva, UNIDIR and Women in International Security (WIIS) Switzerland. It is part of the UNIDIR-WIIS CoLab, an initiative to promote scholarship, dialogue, networks and support for women in international security and disarmament in Geneva and across Switzerland.

Launch Event of the 2023 WIIS Switzerland Mentoring Program

7 FEBRUARY 2023 


Today, Women In International Security (WIIS) Switzerland officially launched the first edition of its mentoring program. The program, which aims to connect young women starting a career in international security in Switzerland with established experts who will provide professional guidance and advice, will run from February to July 2023. 

On the occasion of the launch event, we had the pleasure of welcoming two distinguished guests as speakers: Irene Fellin, Special Representative of the NATO Secretary General for Women, Peace and Security and Founding President of WIIS Italy, and Talia Wohl, Senior Advisor in the Peace and Human Rights Division of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and Swiss representative to the Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network (WPS FPN).

Learn more about the program here.

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Podcast Inside Geneva: Episode on Women in Peace and Security

9 AUGUST 2022 




From war to food insecurity and climate change; would the world be a better, safer place if women took more decisions?

WIIS Switzerland president Julia-Silvana Hofstetter talked to Inside Geneva podcast host Imogen Foulkes and other women, peace and security experts about meaningful participation.

Listen to the podcast here.

Women In International Security Switzerland and the UN Institute for Disarmament Research join forces to launch UNIDIR-WIIS CoLab

21 APRIL 2022 

Today, Women In International Security (WIIS) Switzerland and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) launched a new CoLab to foster collaborative community building for women working in international peace and security in Geneva and across Switzerland.

The UNIDIR-WIIS CoLab aims to promote scholarship, dialogue and networking for women in the field of disarmament and international security. During the launch event, which marks the first of a series of high-level conversations, WIIS Switzerland President Julia-Silvana Hofstetter discussed the nexus of gender equality, human rights, and international security together with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, the Director of the Quaker UN Office in Geneva Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, and UNIDIR Deputy Director Cécile Aptel.

“Too often, women’s participation and the gender dimension of security remain on the sidelines of key debates in foreign and security policy – we need targeted action to change this and accelerate progress”, noted Hofstetter.


Aptel highlighted that on average, only one in five disarmament delegations are headed by women. “Put simply,” she said, “women don’t have an equal opportunity to shape international disarmament and security policies, when these very policies affect everyone.”  


Madlala-Routledge, formerly South Africa’s Minister of Defence, insisted that the participation of more women at all levels of international security policy was “not only as a right but also as a critical component in improving diversity and therefore also improving the chances for more effective and sustainable decisions”. But progress in achieving this right has been slow, she said. 


High Commissioner Bachelet called for increased consideration and representation of women in security sector reform and in arms control and disarmament processes. She also emphasized that “despite more visibility and attention to these concerns at the global level, we still need bolder action and more targeted funding on the ground. Barely 1 percent of funding in fragile or conflict-affected countries goes to women’s rights organizations. (Read her full keynote speech here.)

For more information about the CoLab and opportunities for collaboration, contact:

Swissinfo Interview

8 APRIL 2022 





WIIS Switzerland president Julia-Silvana Hofstetter talked to swissinfo about emerging security threats Switzerland faces in the light of the Ukraine war and the role of civil society actors in assessing these threats.

Read the article here.

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