Common action for peace is the hallmark of Religions for Peace, and women of faith are at its center. The Global Women of Faith Network Plan of Action 2007–2011 is a necessary framework for strengthening the capacities of the Global Women of Faith Network and other religious communities to advance peace and promote just and harmonious societies. The Plan identifies four priority themes for multi-religious action:
- Network Building
Network building is a crosscutting priority fundamental to the overall implementation of the Plan of Action. Women of faith possess valuable experiences and resources that, when mobilized, can strengthen community-based responses for peace and human development. Building the Global Women of Faith Network will enable women of faith to:
- Share information, resources and capabilities.
- Strengthen and expand the unique leadership of religious women and their organizations.
- Facilitate multi-religious mobilization, communication and social action among women of faith working in different countries, locations, and regions.
- Fortify the operation and management of the network locally, regionally, and globally.
- Peace and Security
Religions for Peace recognizes religious women’s organizations and their ability to mobilize their grassroots and broad social networks as key to building peace and advancing shared security. The Plan of Action affirms that women of faith have unique strengths in facilitating peace-building and acting as both mediators and advocates. It seeks to promote the peace-building approaches by women of faith that are grounded in faith values, relationship building, community mobilization, and human rights.
The plan acknowledges international instruments including recommendations in the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the Beijing Platform for Action, as well as the United Nations’ document, “An Agenda for Peace.” Like religion, these international instruments are complementary in emphasizing the centrality of women in addressing issues of peace and security at all levels.
- Women of Faith as Agents of Social Transformation
In today’s polarized world where armed conflict, terrorism, and extremism have escalated, destroying the fabric of society and jeopardizing human security and development, it is necessary to affirm that women of faith play pivotal roles in averting violence and transforming conflicts. The Plan of Action aims to strengthen the role of religious women as agents of conflict transformation and to document good practices on the roles and resources of women of faith in conflict transformation.
- Gender, Poverty, and Health
Gender is a determinant of health and well-being. Social, cultural, and economic violence and prejudices directly affect women’s health, and the tremendous inequalities associated with human poverty affect women disproportionately. The Plan of Action acknowledges that religions can profoundly influence the status, role, and life opportunities of women. The focus will be to:
- Build an ongoing multi-religious capacity to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.
- Deepen awareness and understanding on the intrinsic linkages among gender, poverty, and health.
- Strengthen the capacity of national inter-religious councils and groups in gender analysis and mainstreaming.
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