Women of faith have been at the forefront of Religions for Peace’s efforts since the first World Assembly in Kyoto, Japan in 1970, when a women’s caucus was officially formed.
Subsequent Religions for Peace World Assemblies have featured women’s pre-assemblies, which provided a unique space for women of faith to build action programs.
Since launching in 2001, the Religions for Peace Global Women of Faith Network has expanded to include 30 national networks and five regional networks on 5 continents with over 1000 religious women’s organizations from different religions and cultures participating.
The Network brings together a wide range of women of faith to promote leadership, coordinate strategies and pool resources and capabilities for cooperative action for peace.
On 20 May in London, prominent women of the Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Zoroastrian religions convened to form a national UK Women of Faith Network.
Ms. Ravinder Kaur Nijjar [Member of Religions for Peace’s International Women’s Coordinating Committee] presided over the meeting.
High on the agenda was concern around violence and abuse towards women and girls, with limited access to confidential support.
In addition, participants discussed how they can contribute to advancing Religions for Peace’s Restoring Dignity Campaign, designed to engage religious communities to prevent acts of violence against women; mobilize the compassion of religious communities to help care for and heal survivors of violence; engage men and boys in the prevention of violence against women and advocate for changes in public policy and opinion that contribute to violence against women.
“It is wonderful that so many experienced, dynamic and prominent women from different religions are supporting this important initiative. Women are the foundation stone of society, we must do all we can to enable every woman to have the opportunity to reach her potential spiritually, religiously, educationally and physically without encountering any barriers,” stated Ms. Kaur after the meeting.
A busy agenda lies ahead of the UK Women of Faith Network in the coming months. The next meeting is scheduled for 9 September in London. Anyone interested in joining the UK Women of Faith Network can contact email@example.com.
Latin America Women of Faith
The 12-year old RfP Latin American and Caribbean Women of Faith Network held a multi-religious planning meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 26-28 April. Women leaders from across the region designed concrete plans to address issues, including rural women’s poverty, domestic violence, maternal mortality and leadership development. The gathering was supported by the United Nations Population Fund.
Myanmar Women of Faith
Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Muslim leaders of the RfP Myanmar Women of Faith Network took to the People’s Park in Yangon, Myanmar to celebrate International Women’s Day by raising awareness about their work to empower local women to enhance their role in peace building and promote the global RfP Restoring Dignity campaign. Members of the RfPMyanmar Youth Interfaith Network joined and supported the celebration.
Source: Religions for Peace International