Global Women of Faith Network
Religions for Peace affirms all human beings are equal in dignity and rights and recognizes that women religious leaders are irreplaceable and co-equal partners in peace building, therefore 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.
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 brings together diverse women of faith to promote their leadership, coordinate strategies and pool resources and capabilities for cooperative action for peace. Led by the Women’s Coordinating Committee, ten to fifteen women faith leaders, the Religions for Peace Global Women of Faith Network now consists of more than 1000 religious women’s organizations at the national and regional levels in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America.
Due to women’s unique role as peacemakers, the Women of Faith Network is valuable in transforming violent conflict. In Sierra Leone, Religions for Peace Women of Faith Network helped broker an end to the devastating civil war of the 1990s. A group of women bravely secured the release of child captives held by rebel forces, making peace talks possible.
Prevent Violence against Women and Girls
Religions for Peace recognizes that women are disproportionately affected by violence. The Restoring Dignity Campaign works to empower and mobilize people of faith to prevent violence against women around the world. Programs in Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the DCR, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Myanmar, Uganda, the United Kingdom, the United States and more have raised awareness and addressed gender-based violence while contributing to this global campaign.
Empower Women through Ending Poverty
Sustainable Development Goal #5 states that women’s empowerment is a pre-condition to ending poverty and inequality. Religions for Peace Women of Faith Network engages women and girls in projects to keep girls in school longer, deliver necessary health support to women, secure legal empowerment for women, and more in order to support the SDGs and eliminate poverty.
RfP advocates for the empowerment of women in the processes of disarmament and non proliferation. Through its women of faith networks, RfP provided training to women to help them maximize their leadership and advocacy potentials. Through concrete actions, women of faith trained in disarmament and non proliferation continued to take a more active role in local and national advocacy efforts to stem the circulation and misuse of small arms and light weapons and to promote awareness and education on the impact they have on women and girls.