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April 10, 2014
WFWP 22nd Anniversary
May 8-12, 2014
WFWPI 18th Women's Conference for Peace in the Middle East, Amman, Jordan
May 13-16, 2014
WFWPI 10 Year Anniversary Conference & Pilgrimage "Women for Peace" Jerusalem, Israel
May 15, 2014
Int'l Day of Families
June 30 - July 9
ECOSOC Substantative Session in Geneva
August 12, 2014
International Youth Day
Aug 28-29, 2014
UN DPI/NGO Conference, New York
Sept. 16-29, 2014
69th Session of UN General Assembly
Sept. 21, 2014
Int'l Day of Peace
October 16, 2014
World Food Day
October 17, 2014
Int'l Day of Eradication of Poverty
October 24, 2014
United Nations Day
October 2014
WFWP 14th Int'l Leaders' Conference
Home Page
April 9, 2014. Reports about the recent CSW58 held in New York and the Commemorative and Luncheon NGO Parallel Event on "Stories of Women’s Leadership", organized by WFWPI - as well as other reports about UN Activities in New York,Geneva, and Vienna. Photo reports of activities in Korea and from the WFWPI Conference in London.

Oct. 7-10, 2013 - London. WFWPI held its annual global leadership conference in London from 7-10 October, 2013. Around 150 people, representing Asia, Europe, North and South America, Oceania, Africa, Middle East and Eurasia attended. They not only represented different cultures and nationalities, but also different faith traditions and generations from age 18  80! It was an incredibly colourful and engaged group brought together through their concern about creating a culture of peace rooted in "the logic of love".

Jan. 23-24, 2014 - Geneva. The humanitarian disaster of Syrias civil war continues. As the United Nations and world powers struggled to bring the two sides to dialogue first in Montreux, then in Geneva, the Universal Peace Federation and co-sponsors; Womens Federation for World Peace, International, the Inter-knowing Foundation, the Geneva Interfaith and Cultural Alliance and the Fribourg Peace Forum convened a parallel conference of civil society and faith based organizations.

WFWPI Parallel Event at 57th CSW
WFWPI CSW58 Parallel Event and Commemorative Luncheon

Stories of Women's Leadership

March 18, 2014 - UN HQ, New York City

By Melissa Gontijo

WFWPI sponsored a luncheon to commem-orate and celebrate the Commission on the Status of Women. The beautiful lunch held in the UN Delegates Dining Room was attended by more than ninety guests, from seven countries, including Canada, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Switzerland, Netherlands, Taiwan, and the US.

Luncheon Presenters

The luncheon was hosted by Dr. Lan Young Moon, President of WFWPI. She welcomed participants and the speakers from diverse backgrounds who commented on current affairs with regard to gender equality. Professor Moon introduced the founders of WFWPI, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon and her husband, the Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon. She introduced the founding spirit of WFWP, highlighting the unique role of women as mothers, and emphasizing that the inherent nature of women is needed in every level of decision making. She emphasized the importance of achievement of women’s rights in society so that peace can be achieved. In conclusion, she reflected on the spirituality and power women have within, and shared her favorite saying, “God created mothers because he could not be present everywhere”.

The second speaker was HE Ambassador Libran Cabactulan, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations and chairman of CSW 58. In this role he guided the development of the two week session, and chaired major plenaries at the opening. Ambassador Cabactulan spoke of the importance of women’s leadership, outlined the process the UN is following to advance gender equality for all women, and emphasized the significant role that NGOs play in this process. He insisted passionately on gender equality; and the necessity of achieving women’s empowerment and women’s rights.

Alexa Ward, Deputy Director of WFWP UN Office and Mistress of Ceremonies returned to the podium and was joined by Dr. Lan Young Moon to present an award to Mr. Andrei Abramov, Chief of the NGO Branch, DESA, for his outstanding service, and work with NGOs in consultative status with the UN. WFWP has enjoyed a close working relationship with Mr. Abramov. He will be retiring this coming July after thirty three years of service to the UN. Mr. Abramov commented on sustainable development being impossible without women’s empowerment and gender equality. He also praised WFWPI for its consistent efforts to support the priorities of the United Nations, stated that because of this, WFWPI is one of the most significant NGOs in Consultative Status with the UN.

The final speaker of the luncheon, Dr. Susan O’Malley, Vice Chair of the Executive Committee for the NGO CSW, New York, began her talk by stating proudly that she is a mother and grandmother. She rallied the audience to pay close attention to the fifth area of concern in the Beijing Platform for Action, women and armed conflict. She is excited to talk more in depth on these topics for next year because it will allow for discussions on the methods that have worked and others that have failed. She also spoke of the ongoing effort to ratify the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

WFWPI CSW58 Parallel Event

Stories of Women's Leadership

March 18, 2014 - United Nation’s Church Center

By Melissa Gontijo

Once the luncheon program finished, people made their way to the United Nation’s Church Center Hardin Room for the parallel event organized by WFWP International, and cosponsored by The Sound Essence Project and WFWP USA.


Speakers:

  • Carolyn Handschin, Director UN Office Geneva, WFWP International
  • Sachiko Kimura, Overseas Volunteer for Zambia, WFWP
  • Arceli Hernando, Ph. D, Director of Student Affairs, Bohol Island University, Philippines
  • Greta Anderson, Young Adult Volunteer, USA

Moderator: Alexa Ward, Director UN Office New York, WFWP International

Carolyn HandschinPresenting in a standing room only crowd of close to one hundred people, Ms. Carolyn Handschin brought the audience into the heart of human rights issues with her candid story of a mother in Saudi Arabia saving her son from a life of terrorist activities. She spoke about the importance of family and parenthood in the development of women; as well as about the importance of helping women see themselves as agents of change in their families. She coined the term “familiarchy”, where parents, children and extended family members cooperate to enhance each other’s’ value, expanding naturally to an inclusive system of government in which men and women share responsibility equally. To help in sustaining the MDG goals she hopes that these practices enhance everyone’s values, empower families and lead to children learning leadership skills.

Sachiko KimuraMs. Sachiko Kimura, project director and overseas volunteer for Zambia, graciously reflected on her experiences initiating and sustaining service work in Zambia, Africa. Her passion focuses on a food program she created to provide nutritional guidance for mothers. She has been able to share with the local mothers the importance and nutritional value of soybeans and its substantial protein content. She held classes to hand out soy powder, to weigh the children, to teach mothers how to cook and also how to feed. As a result, most kids gained weight and the mothers felt empowered to teach other mothers. Challenges faced included students not always graduating and mothers not being able to find transportation to get to class. At the core of her experience Ms. Kimura felt that leadership from mothers is vital to replicating sustainable projects.

Arceli Hernando Ph.D.Arceli Hernando, Ph.D. commented on disruptive issues that sometimes plague university environments. As Student Affairs Director at a university with 14,000 students, Dr. Hernando is like a mother to thousands of students on her campus. She has come to realize that the issue is fear; this can only be conquered through education and empowerment. She decided to mobilize a project called Town Organizations. Students in their groups, organized by their home origin, went back to their communities and began by contributing in small ways to make a difference. Through this initiative the project is building leaders among girls and boys, creating bonds between people and encouraging student development. She was also emboldened by the idea of the Mother’s Hearts Network, a project of WFWP, Philippines to connect and reach out to 20 million women around the world in efforts to raise their children to be patriots and for women to be the standard bearers of truth, beauty and goodness.

The final speaker was Ms. Greta Anderson, a young woman in her mid-twenties, raised in Minnesota, spoke on her travels through Israel, Palestine and Uganda. Greta captivated the audience with her passion for serving others. Leaving her job in New York to travel the world while trying to discover what and where peace is, she became humbled by her experiences. She joined several small organizations in these countries to see through the lives of the people she met. Greta was involved with peace keeping, justice, and education. She came to understand the importance of developing bonds of trust with those being served. She encouraged the audience to commit to being of service by starting with small achievements that can lead to bigger ones, maximize our resources, and share our ideas to see hope and peace.

Alexa WardMs. Alexa Ward concluded the event by thanking the speakers for sharing their stories of leadership and providing valuable insights as the UN community continues to deliberate on the development agenda for the period following that of the MDGs, known as the post 2015 agenda.

CSW Conference Summary

CSW 58 Priority Theme

Challenges & Achievements Implementing MDGs for Women and Girls

March 10-21, 2014 - UN HQ New York

By Bonnie Berry

To set the stage for this year’s CSW, it is important to understand its history. The following introduction, available at http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/brief-history sets the stage to understand current activities: “The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) first met at Lake Success, New York, in February 1947, soon after the founding of the United Nations. All 15 government representatives were women. From its inception, the Commission was supported by a unit of the United Nations that later became the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) in the UN Secretariat. The CSW forged a close relationship with non-governmental organizations, with those in consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) invited to participate as observers. From 1947 to 1962, the Commission focused on setting standards and formulating international conventions to change discriminatory legislation and foster global awareness of women’s issues. In contributing to the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the CSW successfully argued against references to “men” as a synonym for humanity, and succeeded in introducing new, more inclusive language.”

In 2011, the four parts of the UN system that served women: DAW, INSTRAW, OSAGI and UNIFEM—merged to become UN Women, now the Secretariat of the Commission on the Status of Women. Formation of UN Women began a new phase in advancement of gender equality and women’s empowerment around the world by consolidating the women serving agencies at the UN and housing UN Women leadership within the UN Secretariat. This focus has accelerated and strengthened coordination, advocacy and education for NGO representatives toward advancement of women’s rights.
The priority theme of CSW 58 was Challenges and Achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls. Achievement of a strong outcome document at CSW58 was very critical this year as a foundation for next year’s Beijing +20 review and to impact the Post 2015 process, currently underway as the Open Working Group, appointed by the General Assembly has established an initial list of focus areas for inclusion in the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

While the CSW proceeded, one of the important venues for collaboration and building consensus on desired outcome document language are the regional caucuses. In recent years, these caucuses have been gaining steam and staying in communication throughout the year. The African caucus meeting was educative for the women present. Coordinators of the caucus reminded the women of the two main reasons to attend CSW, networking and advocacy, and surmised that the women do not need to be taught how to network. But advocacy can be strengthened. Learning to articulate the issues, concerns and priorities of the caucus members to the delegates from member states is a critical priority for NGO representatives. The North American/European regional caucus had a different flavor. Sometimes heated discussions ensued about positions in a policy document that the group had been working on. It was inspiring to have a young woman speak up and diffuse tension with an astute point that all could agree on, the right to safety for all women.

Morning briefings held jointly by NGO CSW NY and UN Women offer crucial updates and insights. Ambassador Libran Cabactulan, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations and chairman of CSW 58 attended the first briefing. He worked hard on agreement among CSW delegates to allow improved access to proceedings for NGO representatives. Unable to achieve this, he made a point to attend the first briefing and commit to attendance of each briefing by a member of the CSW Secretariat. Ms. Lopa Banarjee, UN Women Civil Society Director emphasized the importance of a strong outcome document as the foundation for the post 2015 process. She also educated attendees about the post 2015 process and avenues for participation.

Parallel events brought rich, diverse knowledge, experiences and best practices. For example, Higher Education to Women’s Leadership presented by the Open a Door Foundation that provides college scholarships in the U.S. and holistic support including group mentoring, leadership modeling and aftercare with job placement services for young women from Rwanda and Afghanistan. Following graduation, these women return to their home countries to invest in and provide leadership for development and women’s empowerment. The young women panelists testified that higher education enabled them to have a place at the leadership table. Higher education for women gives a credential to be credible. It builds critical thinking skills that help women stand up to men on matters that are critical to advancement of women. Learning networking skills and creating a network are very important skills also. It is now that laws are being rewritten. Women’s voices are crucial in this process.

The Center for Global Women’s Leadership presented: Making Unpaid Care work Count. Women and girls bear the majority responsibility for this unpaid work that includes everything from gathering wood and water to preparing food and other homemaking responsibilities, caring for children and elderly. Important work but it keeps women out of the decision making processes disproportionately. In undeveloped or developing communities, environmental risks increase for these women and girls. Recommendations were made that unpaid care work be discussed prominently in the CSW outcome document and be a prominent part of the post 2015 agenda. The importance of measuring unpaid care work was stressed.

A highlight among parallel events was the presentation, Young Women Leaders from Africa, graduates of the Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa. Nine young women in their early twenties from different countries in Africa presented their experiences and outcomes of participation in the Moremi Initiative. The women left their homes for a period of training in leadership, empowerment, critical thinking, problem solving and action. Each woman then returned to their homes, conducted needs assessment and began grassroots projects to improve the wellbeing of their communities. These young women exuded confidence, determination and passion in their areas of interest. They each articulated concrete achievements as a result of their participation in the initiative.

The second week of CSW, negotiation of the outcome document began in earnest. There was a push by a block of countries that pushed for regressive language for women’s rights and empowerment. Fortunately, though an outcome document was agreed upon in the wee hours of Saturday morning, March 23 that did represent a firm commitment to inclusion of a stand-alone gender equality goal in the post 2015 agenda, affirming the important foundational agreements including CEDAW, the Beijing Platform of Action, Security Council Resolution 1325, et al. In addition the document affirmed the critical role of UN Women.

NGO participation and action at the CSW and within the processes that lead up to the CSW are important, in fact critical to creating the world we hope and long for.

(CSW58 Outcome Document can be found here: http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw58-2014).

 



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Statement of Purpose
WFWPI supports a network of National WFWP Chapters worldwide.
WFWP Chapters adhere to the principle that women, working together, taking initiative and empowering one another across traditional lines of race, culture and religion to create healthy families, are resolving the complex problems of our societies and world.
Ultimately "solutions" come as true partnerships between men and women are established in all levels of society. The beginning point is within society's most elemental level - the family. Peace then expands into our communities, nation and world.
Therefore, WFWP works to provide women worldwide with: the knowledge, tools and support needed to create peace at home, peace in our communities, our nations and our world.
WFWP International is a non-profit, nongovern-mental, international organization in General Consultative Status of ECOSOC and in association with UN Department of Public Information.

Aims & Activities
Realize a peaceful and harmonious global family...Through two major activities worldwide: poverty eradication projects targeting the empowerment of women and children; and the peace-building "Bridge of Peace" sisterhood project.
 
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