04. Women Waging Peace
Updated: Apr 18
This is my first exercise in writing a blog although I've written a few books. Prior to this, I had never even read a blog.
It was my daughter who first suggested one to me and for some reason now forgotten, I opted for the name bahaigirl9.
It was only after having chosen that name out of a very narrow list of possibilities that a friend pointed out that names ending in .'..girl' are common on rather distasteful sites.
Reflecting on this new piece of information (while idly wondering to myself how he knows so much about them), I decided that even people with unsavoury interests need to care about this world we're all part of, and whether we truly like the way things are going with it. That's pretty much what motivates me.
So I moved to a new name "Baha'i Comment".
Not only am I a blog newbie and not the 'girl' that my old website name might have you believe (although I like to think that I still have much of the sense of wonder and amazement of that time) but now my own girls have had girls, and the world has moved on.
However, in many ways we're still struggling with the same old things, so it gave me great joy to listen to one news item in particular that caught my attention.
I was having an appointment with a delightful cardiologist who told me just a little of her grandparents' extraordinary experience of the holocaust. I mentioned that I had been to Israel twice, and so it was with echoes of that conversation and the age old struggles of the Jewish people still fresh in my mind that I listened to a news item on radio about a movement called Women Wage Peace.
This essentially simple grass-roots movement began with the purpose of raising awareness, and engaging the public in consultations about the possibilities of a political resolution to the Israeli Palestine situation.
During formal and informal meetings of individuals and groups, national events such as demonstrations and protests became organised. These all help to pressure decision makers to work toward reaching a viable peace agreement.
I found this grassroots effort to be an inspiring example of what can be achieved when both women and men of different races, languages and religions come together in a spirit of good will and commitment, echoing 'Abdu'l-Bahá's words in a previous entry.
Dressed in white, the women jointly demanded a political solution to the conflict which has divided the two communities for decades.
“We are women from the right, the left, Jews and Arabs, from the cities and the periphery and we have decided that we stop the next war." they stated. They also demanded that women have an equal say in peace negotiations.
The gathering lasted for two weeks and culminated in a meeting in a “tent of reconciliation”, where women and children crafted signs reading “peace be upon you” in Arabic and Hebrew.
The tent was named for Hagar and Sarah, scriptural mothers of Ishmael and Isaac, the half-brother patriarchs of Muslims and Jews.