WOMEN'S DIGNITY

Parliament Women's Task Force

Today we are at a watershed moment for women’s rights and human dignity. From the historic women’s marches to sexual harassment scandals and social media campaigns such as #metoo, women have been speaking out in bold new ways and serious attention is being given to women’s issues world-wide. Women’s empowerment has taken center stage and the 2018 Parliament will be a major voice in this expanding movement.

Since its inception, the Parliament of World Religions has been an advocate for women. Women were speakers at the 1893 Parliament including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, author of the Women’s Bible, and Antoinette Brown Blackwell, the first ordained woman in America. The 1993 Parliament endorsed a Global Ethic with four Irrevocable Directives, including the Commitment to a Culture of Equal Rights and Partnership Between Men and Women. Women religious and spiritual leaders were featured at the 1993, 1999, 2004, and 2009 Parliaments, and in 2015, an Inaugural Women’s Assembly was held with over 3,500 participants that included the Declaration for the Dignity and Human Rights of Women. For the 2018 Parliament, the Women’s Task Force extended the Parliament’s legacy with exciting programs and initiatives. The title for the 2018 Parliament women’s programming was The Dignity of Women Across the World’s Wisdom Traditions and Society. Our initiatives leading up to the Parliament included:

  • Developing an International Declaration Against Sexual Violence that all religious dignitaries at the 2018 Parliament will be asked to sign (Co-sponsored with the FaithTrust Institute).

  • Adding 1,000 biographies of women religious and spiritual leaders to Wikipedia to bring attention to women’s religious and spiritual leadership world-wide (co-sponsored with the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature Women’s Caucus)

  • Creating a poster highlighting teachings about the dignity of women across the world’s wisdom traditions, as well as launching a Dignity of Women scholar initiative to bring the best religious teachings to the public in accessible and easily understandable formats.

Add your name to our email blasts, contribute to one of the initiatives, and most important of all, support the work of the Parliament of the World's Religions. Join the movement, become a member, donate!

What is the Parliament’s Women’s Task Force?

The Parliament’s Women’s Task Force (PWTF) was created to support women’s leadership and programming at and between Parliaments and at critical institutions, including the United Nations, and to assure that women’s voices are heard at the vital nexus of women’s dignity, human rights, religion, and spirituality. The PWTF seeks to create opportunities for women from a broad range of religious and spiritual traditions to engage with one another in interfaith conversations, inspirations, and actions that seek to enhance the well-being, dignity and human rights of women of all faiths. 

Contact the WTF Assistant

If you’re interested in supporting the work or enhancing the reach of the Parliament Women’s Task Force, please get in touch with us at info@parliamentofreligions.org

A Call for Help, The Call of the Global Ethic

The following article is written by contributing author, Dr. Myriam Renaud from the Parliament's Global Ethic Committee.

2021 Annual Report

2021 began much like 2020 ended, with the world and communities grappling with the continued ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, non-governmental and religious organizations working remotely to safely continue their work, and a growing restlessness as hard earned progress on social justice issues seemed to backtrack.At the Parliament of the World’s Religions, the challenges of 2020 and 2021 meant proactively adjusting our approach to promoting interreligious harmony. While we had shifted a number of our programs online in 2020, the lessons from the previous year drove our organization to consider how to best serve as the world’s premier interfaith convener.After much reflection and deeply empowered by the continued support of the global interfaith movement, the Parliament set out once again to make history. As our thematic programming continued, the Parliament set out to host the 8th global Convening, and this time it would be virtual.Join our team in celebrating the work of our organization by reading and sharing our annual report!Support the Work of the Parliament

Women's Dignity Poster

The Parliament of the World's Religion's Women's Task Force (PWTF), in partnership with the Women's Caucus at the American Academy of Religion, has created this Dignity of Women Interfaith Wisdom Poster. The poster highlights wisdom teachings that support the Dignity of Women from various religious, wisdom, and faith traditions. Alicia Panganiban and Dr. Elizabeth Ursic are Co-chairs of the Dignity of Women Interfaith Wisdom Poster Project.  Alicia Panganiban, Co-chair of the Women's Caucus at the American Academy of Religion states,  "Our generation has declared that now is the time to champion dignity of women. Thus, this Dignity of Women Interfaith Wisdom Project is among AAR-SBL Women’s Caucus and Women’s Task Force of the Parliament response to the cry of our time. We envision this joint project as a threshold in this moment in history where the dignity of women is upheld everywhere, locally and globally-at home, schools, churches, workplaces, communities, and worldwide. We wish to highlight the important role of faith and religion in this movement. Thus, through this Interfaith Wisdom Project, we hope to raise public awareness of the wisdom sayings of various traditions that support the dignity of women. As we debut the Dignity of Women Interfaith Wisdom Poster at the Parliament, we hope to have copies of the poster displayed in our homes, schools, and workplaces as a dazzling emblem of our generation. "We have always done it this way but rather Since all the major world's religions (including your own) support the dignity of women, how does limiting women's access to these life-giving opportunities and rights support women's dignity? The dignity of women should be a baseline for worldwide justice and the teaching of the world's religions can and should be used to support it!"Dignity of Women Interfaith Wisdom Poster Citations Baháʼí Poster’s Full Quote with Citations"And among the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh is the equality of women and men. The world of humanity has two wings—one is women and the other men. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible. Not until the world of women becomes equal to the world of men in the acquisition of virtues and perfections, can success and prosperity be attained as they ought to be." ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 302. Buddhism Poster’s Full Quote with Citation“A girl-child, O Lord of men, may proveEven a better offspring than a male.For she may grow up wise and virtuous,Her husband's mother reverencing, true wife.The child she may bear may do great deeds,And rule great realms, yea such a sonOf noble wife becomes his country's guide.”Caroline A. F. Rhys Davids, trans. The Book of the Kindred Sayings (Saṃyutta-nikāya), Part I.Oxford: Pali Text Society, 1992-1994. Christianity Poster’s Full Quote with Citation“Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.” Acts 2:18 Hinduism Poster’s Full Quote with CitationAjyesthaaso Akanisthaasa YeteSam Bhraataro Vaavrudhuh Soubhagaya - RigVeda, Mandala-5, Sukta-60, Mantra-5‘No one is superior or inferior; all are brothers; all should strive for the interest of all andprogress collectively’. RigVeda, Mandala-5, Sukta-60, Mantra-5https://sites.google.com/site/rammadhav/human-dignity-and-human-rights-hindu-perspective Jainism Poster’s Full Quote but no Citation"A living body is not merely an integration of limbs and flesh but it is the abode of the soul which potentially has perfect perception(Anant-darshana), perfect knowledge (Anant-jnana), perfect power (Anant-virya), and perfect bliss (Anant-sukha)." - Lord Mahavir’s Teachings Judaism Poster’s Full Quote with Citation“And God created humankind in the divine image, creating it in the image of God--creating them male and female.” Genesis 1:27 Islam Poster’s Full Quote with Citation"The believers, men and women, are "Awliy," (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of oneanother, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma`ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam ordersone to do);and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and allthat Islam has forbidden). they offer their prayers perfectly (lqamat-as-Salat), and give the Zakatand obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have mercy on them.”[ Surah 9:71]  Paganism Poster’s Full Quote with Citation“[The Germanic pagan peoples] believe that there dwells, in women, something sacred and prophetic, and so they welcome their counsel and do not disregard their words.”Tacitus, Germania Sikhism Poster’s Full Quote with Citation“From a woman, man is born; man is conceived in the womb of a woman; to a woman he is engaged and married. Woman becomes his friend; and because of woman, the future generations continue. When his woman dies, he seeks another woman; through a woman he is bound with this world. So why speak ill of her from whom kings are born? A woman is born from a woman; there is none without a woman. O Nanak, the only one without a woman is the One True Lord. That mouth (irrespective of gender) which praises the Lord continually is blessed and beautiful; O Nanak, those faces are radiant in the Court of the True Lord.”- Guru Nanak Dev ji, Vaar Aasaa, Ang 473 Spiritual, but not Religious Poster’s Full Quote with No Citation“Men and women are by nature the same.” Taoism Poster’s Full Quote with Citation“The Spirit of the valley never dies.They call it wondrous female.Through the portal of her mysteryCreation ever wells forth.It lingers like gossamer and seems not to beYet when summoned, ever flows freely.”~ Laozi’s Daode Jing, verse 6 ((Primary Scripture of Taosim, translated by Douglas Allchin) Zoroastrianism Poster’s Full Quote with Citation”May a good ruler, a man or a woman (nā vā nāirī vā), rule us, in both existences” (huxšaθrastū nə̄ nā vā nāirī vā xšaētā ubōiiō aŋhuuō). **In Y. 41.2 Women and men were considered capable of being good leaders in both the corporeal and spiritual worlds.

In Memoriam: Carol P. Christ

Image Source: CBD Radio.

2018 Parliament | Sakena Yacoobi Addresses the Women's Assembly

The 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions was hosted from November 1st through November 7th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Hosted in collaboration with the local Toronto interfaith and faith communities, the seventh Parliament convening gathered to engage on the theme, "The Promise of Inclusion & the Power of Love: Pursuing Global Understanding, Reconciliation, and Change". Learn more at parliamentofreligions.org/2018

Join Us in "Recognizing Female Leadership in the Pursuit of Justice"

On Wednesday, March 31st join female faith and community leaders for a special observance of Women’s History Month, highlighting the critical role of female leadership in community healing and the pursuit of racial justice in Chicago.

Women’s History Month: Featured Interview with Professor Dr. Azza Karam, Secretary General of Religions for Peace

The Parliament of the World’s Religions celebrates Women’s History Month by presenting a special interview with  Professor Dr. Azza Karam, conducted by Parliament Chair, Audrey Kitagawa.Professor Dr. Karam is the first woman Secretary-General of Religions for Peace, which was founded in 1970.

Related Blog Entries

A Call for Help, The Call of the Global Ethic

The following article is written by contributing author, Dr. Myriam Renaud from the Parliament's Global Ethic Committee.

In Memoriam: Carol P. Christ

Image Source: CBD Radio.

Join Us in "Recognizing Female Leadership in the Pursuit of Justice"

On Wednesday, March 31st join female faith and community leaders for a special observance of Women’s History Month, highlighting the critical role of female leadership in community healing and the pursuit of racial justice in Chicago.

Women’s History Month: Featured Interview with Professor Dr. Azza Karam, Secretary General of Religions for Peace

The Parliament of the World’s Religions celebrates Women’s History Month by presenting a special interview with  Professor Dr. Azza Karam, conducted by Parliament Chair, Audrey Kitagawa.Professor Dr. Karam is the first woman Secretary-General of Religions for Peace, which was founded in 1970.

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