Giving Peace a Chance: 10 Years of the Global Peace Initiative of Women

  • Global Women's Peace Initiative - Kenya 2012

    10th Anniversary Global Women's Peace Initiative Events and presentations at the group's 10-year celebration

  • Celebrating a decade of work for peace Shinso Ito, head of the Japanese Shinnyo-En Buddhist order, enters for the first-ever fire and water ceremony on the African continent Image Credit: AFP

  • Celebrating a decade of work for peace The first "Fire and Water" ceremony conducted on the African continent is commenced at the Global Peace Initiative for Women's recent conference in Kenya. Image Credit: AFP

  • Jungle Cats for Peace Kenyan natives, both human and feline, added to the ambiance of the Global Peace Initiative of Women's 10th anniversary Image Credit: Fetzer Institute

Giving Peace a Chance: 10 Years of the Global Peace Initiative of Women

Exploring spiritual resources in time of turmoil, some 350 leaders from the UN, the Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW), and the local community gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, in March 2012 to mark the 10-year anniversary of GPIW. The group, which has a special focus on women, identifies and empowers leaders who put love and forgiveness to action to bring about justice and peace.

The event’s theme, “Awakening the Healing Heart,” was stressed by numerous speakers, including GPIW Founder Dena Merriam, who noted “The human community is at war, with each other and the earth. We, as civil society, must end this war—we cannot depend on the governments. How will we respond?”

Women of war-torn nations from Afghanistan to the Congo stressed the need to bridge from many wars and conflicts to a more shared sense of purpose and a peaceful future. The event included Africa's first "Fire and Water" Buddhist ritual, an observation designed to nurture spiritual awakening by making contact with vital earth forces.

“In the journey of human awakening, there are long periods of gestation, which lead to sudden shifts,” said Sraddhalu Ranade, scientist and teacher from the Sri Aurobindo tradition. “We are at one such transition, where all the changes are bringing us to a radical awakening to that underlying Oneness.”

This is a project of the Fetzer Advisory Council on World Religions and Spiritualities.


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