Women's Task Force

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

The Parliament’s Women’s Task Force (PWTF) is composed of women Trustees of the Parliament of the World’s Religions and 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. 

What is the role of the Women’s Task Force at the 2015 Parliament?  

The Women’s Task Force is hosting the Inaugural Women’s Assembly and Program Initiative for Global Advancement (the Women’s Initiative) as an integral part of the 2015 Parliament, offering five days of special programming devoted to women, religion and spirituality that will be fully integrated into the overall Parliament. In 1893, 19 women addressed the first Parliament. The Women’s Task Force is working to assure that thousands of women from diverse religious and spiritual traditions will converge in Salt Lake City, Utah to inspire one another, the Parliament and the world -  and to make history. Already, more than 60% of registrants for the 2015 Parliament are women.  

What are the goals of the Women’s Initiative for Global Advancement?  

The Women’s Initiative will provide an esteemed and global platform for women from diverse religious and spiritual traditions to:

  • Address the critical intersection of women’s dignity, human rights  and religion

  • Celebrate women’s religious and spiritual engagement, inspiration and leadership

  • Share best practices that address women’s challenges

  • Build interfaith networks of mutual support and cooperative action

  • Expand the transformative impact women have on religion and the modern world   

What is the Inaugural Women’s Assembly, and can I participate?  

The Women’s Assembly is a historic opportunity for women of diverse religious and spiritual traditions to gather to address two critical areas:

  • The responsibility of the world’s religions to affirm women’s dignity and human rights

  • Share sources of religious and spiritual inspiration for women’s empowerment.

Esteemed women religious, spiritual and global leaders will address the Assembly on these two primary themes which will be further explored by attendees in small group discussions with opportunities to engage with one another as well as the keynote speakers, explore emerging priorities and best practices and create cooperative frameworks for committed action.

Check back for more information about speakers, programming and other Assembly information and watch for updates via email once you’ve registered!

How do I register to participate, and will I be able to attend the rest of the Parliament?

To register for the Women’s Assembly you must register for the overall Parliament. Registration will entitle you to attend all or part of the Women’s Assembly and Program Initiative as well as the entire Parliament.  

Register to participate in the Women’s Assembly, Program Initiative and overall Parliament here.

When is the Women’s Assembly?  

The Women’s Assembly will take place on October 15, 2015, at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the full day, and immediately prior to the official opening of the Parliament later that evening.  

What is the Women’s Program Initiative, and how can I participate?

The Women’s Program Initiative will continue throughout the duration of the Parliament from October 16-19, with diverse programming that shares and celebrates the value of feminine wisdom, inspires with feminine principles in action, strengthens women’s spiritual engagement and leadership and nurtures a global root system of women’s spirituality.

Programming will include panels, presentations, best practices, discussions, academic papers, sermons, prayers, rites, meditations, and other celebratory, innovative and creative expressions of women’s spiritual engagement, interest and concern. Some programs may be for women only. Check back for more information about speakers, programming and other Program Initiative information and watch for updates via email once you’ve registered!

Register here

Will women have opportunities to worship, pray, meditate, celebrate and ritualize together?

Yes! A Women’s Sacred Space will be available on-site for women’s faith and interfaith religious services, spiritual observances, rites and ceremonies, meditation, reflection and prayer throughout the duration of the Parliament.  

Why should I register, and will I be able to attend the overall 2015 Parliament if I do?

The Women’s Initiative is anticipated to be a truly historic gathering.

When the 2015 Parliament convenes, thousands of people will converge in Salt Lake City to seek and share spiritual inspiration and practical solutions for the urgent and unprecedented crises our planet faces. Increasingly, people recognize that these challenges are the consequence of a world radically out of balance and that meaningful, tangible solutions will only emerge through women’s wisdom and leadership. But at the same time, the most serious, pervasive and ignored violations of basic human rights are those against women, due in part to distorted religious texts and extremism and the devaluation of the feminine.  

It is crucial that women from around the world, representing diverse religious, spiritual and cultural traditions, have the opportunity to address the vital nexus of women’s issues and religion, to share and strengthen their wisdom and work, and to have their voices heard and their presence visible to inspire the world with new models of spiritual engagement and leadership. It is especially important that they have the opportunity to do so from the Parliament’s esteemed platform. It is important that YOU have that opportunity.

And we believe that the participation of women from the world’s faith and spiritual traditions is essential to achieve the Parliament’s all-inclusive mission to cultivate harmony among the world's religious and spiritual communities to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world. The Women’s Task Force is responding to this challenge by ensuring that women’s voices are heard at the 2015 Parliament, and therefore throughout the world. We hope yours will be one of those voices.

Registering for the Women’s Initiative means registering to make history! And yes, you must register for the 2015 Parliament in order to attend the Assembly. Registration entitles you to attend the entire 2015 Parliament, including the Assembly and the Women’s Program Initiative which will be an integral part of the 2015 Parliament.  

Are there other ways to get involved?

Yes!

  • Special Events - Women are also encouraged to submit proposals for special events to occur simultaneously and globally during the Parliament: rfp.parliamentofreligions.org
  • Pre-Parliament Women’s Events - These are events to bring women together in their local communities, to explore, celebrate, educate and engage.  
    • A Pre-Parliament gathering of 60 religiously diverse women convened in Fall, 2014 in Salt Lake, and this group is continuing to meet to help bring the Parliament and the Women’s Initiative to Salt Lake City.  
    • Check the PWTF page for listing of future events.
  • If you are interested in planning a Pre-Parliament Event, contact PWTF here: women@parliamentofreligions.org or preparliament@parliamentofreligions.org
  • Post-Parliament Gatherings and Actions – Events to sustain and support social justice and interfaith engagement on behalf of women.
  • Donate to the Women’s Task Force

Can I volunteer to make the Women’s Initiative a success?
Yes! There are plenty of volunteer opportunities before, during and after the Parliament.   
If you’re interested in helping out, please get in touch with us at: women@parliamentofreligions.org

Are there any local Salt Lake City Women’s Initiative programs or events?
Yes! A Pre-Parliament gathering of 60 religiously diverse women convened in Fall, 2014 in Salt Lake, and this group is continuing to meet to help bring the Parliament and the Women’s Initiative to Salt Lake City. A second SLC Women’s Pre-Parliament event will be held in April, 2015.
If you are interested in participating, or just finding out what’s going on in SLC, you can contact local organizer, Susan Soleil: spsoleil@gmail.com, (801) 554-9495.

What if I need financial assistance in order to participate?
The Global Sisters Fund has been established by the Women’s Task Force and is receiving donations to further assist women’s participation by providing assistance with scholarships and travel expenses for women who are frequently underrepresented in important conversations and conferences about women’s rights, spirituality and leadership including:
• Elder (ages 60 and over) and young women (ages 16-30)
• Indigenous and First Nations women
• Low-income women
• Religiously, spiritually, culturally and internationally diverse women, especially those leading innovative and effective programs