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Peace Education

Interfaith Gathering Discusses Women in the Modern World

Russia-2019-10-13-Interfaith Gathering Discusses Women in the Modern World

Petrozavodsk, Russia—"The Role of Women in the Modern World" was the topic of a meeting held jointly by UPF and a Muslim women’s organization.

The meeting was held in Petrozavodsk, the capital of the Russian Republic of Karelia, at the A.P. Gaidar Youth Library. The Women’s Department of this organization cordially welcomed the representatives of the Universal Peace Federation, and the meeting was held on October 13, 2019, in a very warm interethnic and interreligious atmosphere.

Maryam Kovaleva, head of the Educational Department of the Muslims’ organization, warmly welcomed the participants and introduced the guests of honor, noting the merits of each. Each person, she said, leaves a mark on the heart, enriching us and expanding our perception of the world, its beauty and splendor.

A special guest of the meeting was Svetlana Rukavishnikova, the chair of the “Kalina” Society of Ukrainian Culture and a finalist in the Russian Leaders 2019 contest. In her social work, she said, her main emphasis is on interethnic and intercultural cooperation, as well as education of children and youth.

Zarema Bagaudin, the head of the Association of Muslim Women of Petrozavodsk, gave a presentation about her association’s activities, highlighting a wide range of areas and projects carried out this year.

New developments in peacemaking, as seen in the interreligious and international projects of young leaders, were very interesting.

Nina Kosareva, a member of the Russian Writers' Association, reflected in her poems the four main roles of women in a family – the four spheres of heart as the basis for effective social activity and creation of a healthy, strong society that lives by the principles of mutual understanding and cooperation.

Natalia Chigrina, the head of UPF for Northwest Russia, emphasized the importance of the same principles in the work of the Universal Peace Federation and its affiliated organizations. She noted that by nature women are given special qualities that help them take the initiative to encourage their colleagues beyond racial, cultural, religious or other differences. Often the cause of conflicts and wars is a spirit of competition that is not characteristic of women.

The co-founders of UPF, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, have always emphasized that in our time women can take  leading positions in society through improving harmonious relationships and playing a maternal role in their families, which will become the basis of a culture of peace.

Marina Toloshinova, an active public figure in the city, read touching poems about her family, and Elena Matyushechkina recited amazing poems about her faith and love for Islam.

Also, the now popular topic of environmental protection was touched upon. Activists of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Republic of Karelia are actively involved in environmental projects.

Tatyana Neskoromnaya, an active public figure who is also the mother of many children, spoke of her experience and creative approach to environmental education—not only for children and teenagers but also for adults. She then read aloud her environmental fairy tales.

The meeting was full of warmth and creative spirit. As it turned out, almost all the participants write poems and songs; many shared their literary works.

Olesya Grossman composed a real anthem of this meeting, especially on the topic under discussion: It was a beautiful poem describing the essence of a woman.

The hosts of the meeting, the Association of Muslim Women of Petrozavodsk, organized a wonderful banquet, which further beautified the warm family atmosphere, and the participants in an informal atmosphere could get to know each other better and exchange ideas for joint projects and meetings.

We are grateful to the Association of Muslim Women of Petrozavodsk for the warm welcome and the wonderful time!