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The role of women in peace building: Jewish, Christian and Muslim perspectives

9 dicembre 2011

December 8, 2011. ( Some of the most troubled areas of the world are represented in this panel. The three female speakers respectively promote international peace building in Israel, Northern Ireland and Bosnia Herzegovina. Their mission isn’t easy, but nonetheless, it’s essential.

Sarah Bernstein
Israel Interfaith Commission (Israel)

“The media doesn’t often report about the grassroots peace building efforts that go on, on the ground. But there are many such efforts in Jerusalem, Israel, Palestine, between Israelis and Palestinians, between Jews, Christians and Muslims.”

Precisely to highlight that inter-religious dialogue, each speaker is of a different religion. Whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim, they all said progress has been made when it comes to peace building, but deep challenges still remain.

Sarah Bernstein
Israel Interfaith Commission (Israel)

“The different religious communities live very separate lives and very rarely meet each other, which is why I believe dialogue is essential because it is only if we can listen to each other, it is only if we can recognize the common humanity of all religious and ethnic groups.”

Ruth Patterson said the change must come from within, meaning those who lived through the conflict or were directly affected by it must be the ones who open the door to post conflict resolution, not those who look at the situation from the outside.

Rev. Ruth Patterson
Presbyterian Minister (Belfast, Northern Ireland)

“We need to tap into the power that there is in forgiveness. Not forgetting, which people can’t do because of their wounds, but a type of redemptive remembering. Where they come to the point where they choose to maybe let go of that hurt and move forward.”

On a logistical level, governments must also recognize the past and acknowledge its true history.

Aida Abadzic Hodzic
University of Sarajevo (Bosnia Herzegovina)

“You have to create first, the just economic and political context that the real inter-religious context starts, let us be honest. Because we always take on step further and two back because we lack this political context.”

The event marked the 25th anniversary of Rome’s Lay Center at Foyers Unitas. Event though  international peace building isn’t simple, speakers stressed that it’s not impossible.

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