Women Hold Meet To Seek Religious Harmony


Gulf Times
March 6 2008

NEW DELHI: Several hundred women leaders from around the globe will
gather in India to launch a movement to stem violent religious conflict
in the world, organisers said yesterday.

Around 450 women "many of them religious figures in their countries"
will hold a five-day summit beginning today in the fort city of Jaipur
in Rajasthan.

"There is a lot of religious conflict in the world, but very few
women are involved in building religious harmony,"~] said Dena
Merriam of the New York-based Global Peace Initiative of Women,
which has organised the event.

The gathering will discuss ways to resolve conflict and problems
by emphasising "feminine qualities"~] of compassion and community
building, the non-profit organisation said.

Many women who will be present at the summit come from conflict zones.

"Ihave seen nothing but conflict in my life,"~] said Teny
Pirri-Simonian, a church leader, whose parents fled to Lebanon during
the 1915-17 massacre of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire.

Many others from Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel and Pakistan said they
hope to share their experiences and promote inter-faith harmony.

"As a Palestinian woman, I can bring a healing touch to others as
well," said Laila Atshal, a psychologist from the West Bank city
of Ramallah.

The summit will coincide with the annual International Women’s Day
on Saturday.

Participants said they will launch the first World Council of Women
Spiritual Leaders at the end of the summit.

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