Global Women of Faith Network
Around the world, women of faith are working on the front lines to build peace, end poverty, and protect the earth. Religions for Peace Global Women of Faith Network brings together a wide range of these women of faith to promote their leadership, coordinate strategies and pool resources and capabilities for cooperative action for peace. The global network consists of 30 national networks and five regional networks in 5 continents with over 1000 religious women’s organizations from different religions and cultures participating. The network is a valuable resource for women of all faiths to communicate and learn from each other and to build bridges and partnerships between faith-based women’s organizations, secular partners, international agencies and the United Nations.
Religions for Peace works with the Tanzanian Women of Faith Network to empower youth educators on HIV and AIDS, supported by the New Partners Initiative.
The Global Youth Network of Religions for Peace convened the Asian Religious Youth Leaders Summit in conflict-ridden Mindanao, where more than 100 youth called for peace.
Religious leaders demonstrate broad public support for the Global Day of Action to Ban Cluster Bombs.
Women of faith worldwide are central to the strength and success of multi-religious cooperation, not only to promote the importance of women’s rights, but also to mobilize religious communities in common action to achieve peace and defend the inviolable dignity of all human beings.
Mission & History
Women of faith have been involved in Religions for Peace since its earliest beginnings at the first World Conference held in Kyoto Japan in 1970, when a women’s caucus was formed and recognized by Religions for Peace governing body. Subsequent World Assemblies convened a women’s meeting two days in advance, providing a unique space for women of faith to join together to make strong statements regarding key Religions for Peace focus areas, such as development, peace education and human rights. The women of faith also advanced Religions for Peace’s principle of representativity, calling for greater participation and promotion of the rights of women and girls. This resulted in inclusion of women’s rights in key institutional commitments such as the one at its third world assembly below:
“We are convinced that practices, prejudices or laws that prevent the full participation of women along with men in the political, economic, social, cultural and religious life of their countries are morally indefensible and should be eliminated.” The Princeton Declaration – WCRP III
It was at the Sixth Religions for Peace World Assembly in Riva del Garde, Italy, in 1994, that the international women’s committee was formally recognized as a body within Religions for Peace and enshrined in its governance guidelines. The Women’s Coordinating Committee, as it is now known, consists of ten to fifteen women of faith leaders, not only leads the activities of the Global Women of Faith Network, but also helps to achieve mainstreaming of a broad representation of women in the Religions for Peace governing body at all levels.
In 2001, Religions for Peace launched the first ever Global Women of Faith Network. A network of networks, Religions for Peace Global Women of Faith Network is growing regionally and nationally in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America. It allows women from different religions and cultures to coordinate strategies and pool resources and capabilities for cooperative action to achieve results that would be difficult for any single member to accomplish alone.