Religions for Peace recognizes that women of faith around the world have enormous capacities for leadership and effective action in all areas of human development.
The Women’s Mobilization Program was established in 1998 to advance the role of religious women in international development, peace-making and post-conflict reconstruction. The two overarching aims of the program are to ensure that the concerns and perspectives of women are mainstreamed in all of Religions for Peace’s programming and to build the capacity of religious women of faith organizations to engage in peace building and sustainable development.
In 2001, the program launched the first-ever Global Network of Women of Faith. The growing network serves as an increasingly valuable resource for women of all faiths to communicate and learn from each other and to build bridges between faith-based organizations and major international agencies. At present, the Global Network includes more than 1,000 Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Indigenous, Sikh and Zoroastrian religious women’s organizations. Some organizations in the network have a membership as large as 5,000 groups, while others have less than five. More recently, the program inaugurated four regional women of faith sub-networks in Africa, South East Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia.
Today, the Women’s Mobilization Program continues to convene and train women religious leaders and representatives at local, national, regional and global levels. True to its mission, Religions for Peace is building the capacity of women of faith to assume increasingly visible leadership roles in transforming conflict, promoting peace, and advancing sustainable development. At the Women’s Assembly in Kyoto, Japan, in August 2006, 400 participants from sixty-five countries adopted a Declaration, “Women of faith make available strength and hope when all seems hopeless.”