In preparation for International Women's Day, the WIN URI CC (Women's Interfaith Network of the URI) held it's first Global Women's Gathering on a Zoom call March 6. Despite problems of connectivity, we were able to have 13 women joining us in different countries - and several had other women in the room with them. Women were from North America, South America, Africa, MENA, and Pakistan representing Christianity, Judaism, Spiritualist, and Islam.
Prayers were offered from the different religions, and then women from each region reported on the situation for women in their area. We heard from Maria about the increasing organization of the indigenous women in Latin America. Karen and Despina spoke about campaigns against women's abuse, child marriages, and wartime rape in Africa, but also strong committed women doing great grassroots work to transform themselves and others from such situations in Africa. Sally, PK, and Ruth spoke about the rising political activism and schisms among women in the US, from Naela about the increasing acceptance of successful women within the Arab world. Plans for IWD were shared with Monica reporting from the UN, Sabina returning from an event with 250 women of different religions, Naela sharing the results of the WIN MENA meeting, Salette sharing plans for demonstrations in Brazil for human and civil rights, and other women's initiatives for IWD around the world.
We're encouraged and heartened to be reading the reports that are coming in of URI events globally in honor of IWD. We join with URI women, and the men who support them, in our worldwide effort to empower women, to end violence against women, and to enable the other 50% of the world's population to lead the way to interfaith harmony.
We began planning for a WIN URI Global Gathering to bring women together face to face to deal with the topic of women in conflict situations. We hope to hold this September 15 - 16, at the end of the Global Council meeting in Sarajevo. We discussed recruiting more younger women, adding mentorship of the elders for the youngers, building bridges between women on the political left and the political right in many countries where this needs to be healed, and recognizing our uniqueness as a group that brings women together based on our faiths and common spirituality. We will come back together with the results of our planning on our next call in June. We closed with everyone feeling enormous love and satisfaction from this experience of connecting together and re-energizing the WIN URI to move forward with ambitious plans. We ended by each giving an embrace to create a global hug.
We are grateful to Freddie, our Multiregion Coordinator, for her guidance and technical support.
Besides Elana from Jerusalem, Despina from Kampala, and Freddie from Seattle, also attending were Sabina from Lahore, Maria Eugenia from Buenos Aires, Salette from Brazil, PK from Texas, Kate from Nigeria, Karen from South Africa, Monica from the UN, Naela from Amman, Ruth from California, Sally from San Francisco.
Elana and Despina
WIN URI CC Coordinators
Elana Rozenman Executive Director TRUST – Emun
URI -- United Religions Initiative