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

Posted 30th November 2011

'The Dignity of Diversity - The Importance of Dialogue and Action Together'

Shetland Inter Faith Group in collaboration with the Church of Scotland Presbytery of Shetland hosted a special event for Scottish Inter Faith Week Ravinder Kaur Nijjar was the keynote speaker. Ravinder Kaur a former convener of the Scottish Inter Faith Council and currently the co-chair of the Religions for Peace European Women of Faith Network asked participants to undertake an exercise regarding the four most important aspects of their identity and the possibility of having a common identity. This was most challenging as those present at the event came from diverse religious and belief backgrounds. However participants were genuinely astonished to discover that they all had an identity that they shared. The important aspect of the exercise was the dialogue that took place when carrying out the task and the dialogue that is continuing to take place after the event.

Posted 21st November 2011

Fifty senior religious figures, including national leaders, met together in London (Central Hall Westminster) to mark the first working day of Inter Faith Week. The meeting was organised by the Inter Faith Network for the UK and was chaired by its Co-Chairs, Bishop Alastair Redfern and Dr Manazir Ahsan. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams; Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks; and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, opened a national faith communities' conversation on the theme of 'Living well together' in Britain today. The discussion explored aspects of how faith communities contribute to society; continue to develop strong patterns of inter faith understanding and practical cooperation; and engage with wider society for the common good. Scottish Inter Faith Council was represented at the launch by Ravinder Kaur Nijjar who also represented the Sikh community.

Posted 3rd November 2011

Ravinder Kaur Nijjar was asked to speak at the National Student event organized by the Jubilee Debt Campaign entitled Justice not Charity at the University of Birmingham. She gave a presentation on the work carried out by the Religions for Peace European Women of Faith Network on alleviating poverty. Other speakers included Jehangir Malik, UK Director of Islamic Relief, Steve Miller, JDC Co-chair and Chair of Tzedek, Tim Jones Jubilee Debt Campaign Senior Policy Officer and was compered by Tony Vino comedian and founder of  Just Fair Laughs.

Posted 14th July 2011

Ravinder Kaur Nijjar was one of 20 women from different religions invited by Baroness Sandip Verma of Leicester, Lords Spokesperson for Women and Equalities in conjunction with the Government Equalities Office to a roundtable discussion on the Government’s recent consultation “Strengthening Women’s Voices in Government”.  The aim of the meeting was to hear views from women of faith on the Government’s proposals. The outcomes of the discussion would contribute to the new model being established for engaging and listening to women in the UK. This roundtable was part of a series of outreach events that were hosted across the country including Devolved Administrations with a wide range of women.

Posted 30th March 2011

On 30 March 2011 Religions for Peace European Women of Faith Network in partnership with Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha (GNNSJ) and the Nishkam Civic Association (Birmingham) convened a meeting to discuss the formation of a National Women of Faith Network for the UK, and launched a new exhibition to celebrate the centenary of International Women’s Day.

The meeting was attended by women from Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Zoroastrian Religions. The morning was dedicated to the centenary celebrations with presentations on the honour and status of women within the different Religious Scriptures.

The exhibition, ‘The Dignity of Women- Scriptural Reflections was launched by Bhai Sahib Bhai Dr Mohinder Singh, Chair of GNNSJ. . The exhibition relates verses from the different Religious Scriptures regarding the status and honour of women. The exhibition aspires to educate religious and secular communities on the role and status of women and in turn help to overcome misrepresentation and discrimination of women.

The women’s consultation meeting took place in the afternoon. Ravinder Kaur Nijjar, Co-Chair of RfP EWFN gave an overview of Religions for Peace (RfP) and the work of Religions for Peace European Women of Faith Network (RfP EWFN). Bharti Tailor, Secretary General of the Hindu Forum of Britain led the discussion/workshop on the main issues of concern for women of faith in the UK. How these issues could be addressed and what are the main issues facing women in Europe and worldwide.

Some of the issues of concern in the UK were the need to break through gender and faith stereotyping, lack of women’s voices in positions of influence, children growing up without a good foundation in spiritual values. In Europe and worldwide concerns were, the lack of education opportunities for girls within communities, trafficking of women, maternal health and poverty. Suggestions were also given as to how these issues could be addressed.

The meeting ended with the formation of a steering group which would have the remit of forming a Women’s Co-ordinating Committee. The committee would comprise of women from different religions and geographical areas within the UK. This committee once established would take forward the task of forming a UK Women of Faith Network.

Posted 27th March 2011

In November 2009, Ravinder Kaur Nijjar Co-Chair of Religions for Peace European Women of Faith Network was instrumental in arranging for Jacqueline Ogega, director of the Women’s Programme at the Religions for Peace International Secretariat in New York, to speak at SIFC’s Annual Women’s Seminar. Jacqueline oversees Women of Faith Networks in five continents and she encouraged the women at the seminar to establish a Scottish Women of Faith Network .Nearly 50 women expressed an interest in developing such a network in Scotland and Frances Hume, project officer at SIFC, arranged an initial meeting for interested women in Edinburgh in June 2010. The aim of the network is to bring together women from across Scotland from all faith traditions to engage in inter faith dialogue and social action projects.

At the meeting, the women expressed a desire to change the name of the group to something they felt would be more inclusive, and the ‘Women’s Inter Faith Network in Scotland’ was decided upon. It was also decided to have meetings on a six-weekly basis, alternating between Edinburgh and Glasgow. The meetings would include time for inter faith sharing and for planning future activities. Activities included holding a women’s retreat, producing a CD on common values that could be shared with faith communities, schools and women’s groups, and hosting a seminar on women’s health and wellbeing for women from across Scotland from all faiths and none.

The seminar, ‘The Heart of Wellbeing’, took place on 27th March 2011 at the University of Glasgow. It was lead by Astrid Bendomir from the Janki Foundation and looked at the relationship between health, wellbeing, spirituality and faith. Work is currently taking place to identify, contact and bring together the key women from faith based organisations across Scotland who could work together on a strategic level to take women’s inter faith work forward in Scotland.

Posted 16th February 2011

For the first ever UN world interfaith harmony week, Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha held six days of prayer for ‘Sarbat Da Bhalla’ - the welfare of all. An exhibition was also displayed at the Nishkam Centre, where traditional tea was served daily. A specially commissioned film by Sangat TV was also produced and screened, of messages from faith leaders across the city of Birmingham about the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week. The week culminated with an interfaith event in collaboration with Birmingham Faith Leaders Group and supported by the Department for Communities & Local Government’s Faiths in Action Fund. Speeches were made by Dr Josef Boehle (Post-Doctoral researcher on Religions, Civil Society and the UN at the University of Birmingham), Mrs Ravinder Kaur Nijjar (Co-Chair, Religions for Peace European Women of Faith Network), Jonathan Gurling (Secretary, Birmingham Faith Leaders Group), and Bhai Sahib Bhai Mohinder Singh (Chairman, Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha). Ravinder Kaur Nijjar said “There is no one more delighted than me that we are celebrating the official UN World Interfaith Harmony Week as it was my dream to have a global interfaith week and now this has become a reality.

This week will help to promote dialogue and build stronger bonds of understanding and cooperation between communities throughout the world. The week gives faith communities a chance to show wider society the positive impact and the good work carried out by them. Because there is a perception out there that religion is the root cause of all conflict, but religions are also the root of all that is good.

Posted 16th September 2010

Ravinder Kaur Nijjar had the honour of being invited to Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh during His Holiness’s State visit to Scotland in September 2010. Three hundred invited guests joined the Queen in welcoming the Pope to Scotland.

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italy 18th April 2013
Italy: Conference on Women and Public Engagement - A Faith Perspective
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finland 8th March 2013
FInland: Training for teachers on Interfaith dialogue
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finland 15th February 2013
Finland: World Interfaith Harmony Week
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belgium 20th November 2012
Belgium: Sacred Water Campaign
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bosnia 8th May 2012
Bosnia: Launch of the Restoring Dignity Campaign
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belgium 8th May 2012
Belgium: Launch of the Restoring Dignity Campaign
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