Rovereto 2008

Religions for Peace

European Women of Faith Network formed

Vision Statement

We the Religions for Peace European Women of Faith Network
commit ourselves in a spirit of friendship to work together to promote social justice and peace for an inclusive Europe.


“Women as the nurturers of future generations are the key to a peaceful, harmonious and just society as they instill spiritual values in the young. It is from the mother that a child learns to love and respect others, learns to form relationships with others, learns about its world and learns about the spirit and spirituality. A mother has the ability to connect her child to the Divine and teach it to see the Divine spark in all.”
Ravinder Kaur Nijjar: Co-Chair RfP European Women of Faith Network

A groundbreaking meeting with women from 13 European countries was held in Rovereto, Italy, on 22nd May 2008 to establish the Religions for Peace European Women of Faith Network. The newly created network was officially presented during the Inter-Religious Encounter that took place from 22-25 May 2008 also in Rovereto, bringing together over 250 delegates from 35 countries in Europe, at the Invitation of Religions for Peace/ Europe and Opera dei Camapana – Peace Bell Foundation.

The European Network is part of the Religions for Peace Global Women of Faith Network that mobilizes action among women of faith on six continents. The Co- Coordinator of Religions for Peace Global Women of Faith Network, Mehrezia Labidi-Maiza from France said “women are core to their faith communities but not necessarily seen as religious leaders. We need to validate the important work that women do and be a force for peace in the world”.

The Network will enhance interfaith networking amongst European regional women of faith through practical projects and promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in multi-religious collaboration for peace. The delegates from the Baha’i, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh faiths stated that they would work together in a spirit of friendship to promote social justice and peace for an inclusive Europe. The Co-Chairs of RfP EWFN Ravinder Kaur Nijjar, from Scotland, and Yolande Iliano, from Belgium, expressed confidence that this network will put into practice the shared human and spiritual values of Faiths in Europe in all aspects of its work to advance peace and shared security.

The formation took place following consultations and meetings that have taken place over the past year to clarify the purpose and strategies of such a network.

The launch was successful due to preparatory meetings in Scotland and Italy. In May 2007, women of faith from eight countries in Europe convened in Sassone, Rome, Italy from the 16-17 of May 2007 and identified challenges and goals. The women, after reaffirming the importance of harnessing interfaith strength and resources to combat issues such as gender based violence, war, and HIV/AIDS, formed the Religions for Peace European Women’s’ Coordinating Committee. The committee was created to function as a leadership body to elaborate a vision of building the Religions for Peace European Women of Faith Network.

On 23 February 2008, the Religions for Peace European Women’s Coordinating Committee met in Scotland. The visit was convened by Religions for Peace with funding by the committed Scottish Government to network, finalize a draft of objective and structures of the European women of Faith Network, and prepare for Rovereto.

The meeting was co-hosted by Scottish Inter Faith Council and the University of Glasgow Chaplaincy Centre and was moderated by the Coordinators of Religions for Peace European Women’s Coordinating Committee, Mrs. Ravinder Kaur Nijjar and Mrs. Yolande Iliano. The women of faith created linkages with other organizations in meetings with staff at the Scottish Inter-Faith Council (SIFC), government officials, and the inter faith liaison officer of Glasgow City Council.

The official launch of the Religions for Peace European Women of Faith Network will take place in Belgium in November 2008, an appropriate location given how much the EWFN formation resonates with the European Year of Inter-Religious Cooperation.

 


LANDMARK MULTI-RELIGIOUS EUROPEAN WOMEN OF FAITH NETWORK FORMED

Common Action to prevent and address violence in all its forms, human trafficking and prostitution and the empowerment of immigrants and minorities in Europe

A groundbreaking meeting with women from over 13 European Countries was held in Rovereto, Italy, on 22nd May 2008 to establish the Religions for Peace European Women of Faith Network. The newly created network was officially presented during the Inter-Religious Encounter that took place from 22-24 May 2008 also in Rovereto, bringing together over 250 delegates from 35 countries in Europe, at the Invitation of Religions for Peace/ Europe and Opera dei Camapana – Peace Bell Foundation.

The co-chairs, Ravinder Kaur Nijjar, from Scotland and Yolande Iliano, from Belgium stated that this network will put into practice the shared human and spiritual values of Faiths in Europe in all aspects of its work and relationships to advance peace and shared security.

The delegates from the Baha’i, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh faiths stated that they would work together in a spirit of friendship to promote social justice and peace for an inclusive Europe.

The European Network is part of the Religions for Peace Global Women of Faith Network that mobilizes action among women of faith in six continents the world over.

The Co- Coordinator of Religions for Peace Global Women of Faith Network, Mehrezia Labidi-Maiza from France said “women are core to their faith communities but not necessarily seen as religious leaders. We need to validate the important work that women do and be a force for peace in the world”.

Religions for Peace comprises a World Council of senior religious leaders and more than seventy national and four regional inter-religious bodies; and affiliated networks of religious youth and women of faith in six continents.

The European Network will:

  • enhance interfaith networking among women of faith in Europe through practical projects; and
  • Promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in multi-religious collaboration for peace.

For more information please contact:
Co-Chairs, Religions for Peace European Women of Faith Network:
Ravinder Kaur Nijjar rknijjar@hotmail.com
Yolande Iliano yolande.iliano@wcrp.be

Religions for Peace, - accredited to the United Nations - is the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition advancing common action for peace since 1970. Religions for Peace works with women of faith networks, youth networks and 70 affiliated inter-religious councils in four continents of the world. The European Women of Faith Network is one of the four regional women of faith networks within Religions for Peace Global Women of Faith Network.

Press release from Eva Ruth Palmieri
You will find the article she wrote on the Women of Faith Network meeting in Rovereto. It was published by the Vatican's news agency SIR both in the Italian and English on-line issue.