Global Women’s Peace Network Launched in Canada
On October 27, Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) Canada launched the Canadian chapter of the Global Women’s Peace Network (GWPN) in Etobicoke, Ontario. This network, already established in several nations across the world, is a network of women and organizations dedicated to solving pressing social issues and securing an environment for human development. Through feminine leadership, GWPN seeks to ensure lasting peace and prosperity for generations to come.
The theme of the event was “Women as Agents of Peace: Reconciliation and Alternative Dispute Resolution.” Lilly Tadin, President of WFWP, opened the meeting by reminding the audience of the founder’s unique approach to solving problems in society and the world. Power alone does not suffice, only the “logic of love” can guide the world toward solution. She further emphasized the necessity of working together with men to accomplish our goals.
The keynote address was given by Iqra Khalid, Member of Parliament representing Mississauga-Erin Mills, a young, energetic lawyer dedicated to advocating for equality and fairness. She shared how growing up in a Pakistani family with three brothers, her parents had the wisdom to never belittle her but made her feel equal to her siblings by often saying they had “four sons.” She commented on the role of women in the world denoting that women understood different routes to problem-solving. Women are more collaborative and willing to compromise. Her concluding statement was that no one is entitled to human rights and peace; instead, they belong to all and we have to work to make them a shared reality across societies and nations.
Denise Anne Boissoneau, an indigenous scholar with a law degree from the University of Ottawa, gave the first presentation on the “Power of Reconciliation: Lessons from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.” She gave some historical background on the evolution of the relationship between First Nations and the government of Canada, the impact of residential schools and the policies of child welfare agencies which have been so detrimental to native society and culture. Progress is now being made and conversations are taking place on the need to respect treaties, the use of lands and resources, self-government and the preservation of language and culture.
President of WFWP-USA, Angelika Selle shared in a power point presentation the founding purpose of the GWPN in 2012 and its expansion to other parts of the world. She shared about the three areas of focus; Women’s Leadership, Family, and Environment, as well as the need for the GWPN to be a network of the heart and use actions of love in order to counteract and subdue the selfishness that is at the source of problems and conflicts.
After lunch and entertainment, the afternoon panel began. The topic for the panel was “Exploring the Concept of Alternative Dispute Resolution” with three great panelists: Margarett Best, retired Member of Provincial Parliament, former Cabinet Minister and lawyer; Dr. Barbara Landau, psychologist, lawyer, mediator, trainer and author of ‘Handbook on Family Conflict Resolution;’ and Dr. Erum Siddiqui, a Professor and specialist in International Relations. All three panelists addressed the Alternative Dispute Resolution which has evolved into Appropriate Dispute Resolution and can be creative and flexible. It is a voluntary process where both parties can choose a facilitator, communication ground rules and design a process that suits them.