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International Women's Day Observed in Stuttgart

Stuttgart, Germany - The Women’s Federation for World Peace celebrated the UN International Women’s Day 2013 with an event entitled ‘Women for Peace - yesterday and today’ on March 9. The event, which attracted 31 women, was held in the premises of the Stuttgart branch of the Universal Peace Federation.

Rita Seewald, head of the Women’s Federation for Peace, Germany, was invited as the main speaker.

After opening remarks from Ute Lemme, head of the Women’s Federation group in Stuttgart, a receptive atmosphere for Rita Seewald’s speech was set by a piano piece from a Korean composer, played by the student Nina Harlander.

Mrs. Seewald began her presentation with a short explanation of the meaning of International Women’s Day. She went on to talk about women who have been recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize.  Bertha von Suttner was the first, and it was she who, in 1905, had inspired Alfred Nobel to establish this prize. But it was then another 26 years before the next woman received the Nobel Peace Prize. Rita Seewald’s PowerPoint presentation guided the audience through the various female prize winners, of which there have been all too few. This became especially obvious when it came to the prize for the European Union. The EU has, after all, a 50% female representation.

Mrs. Seewald then presented three women as representatives of all women for peace.

  • Rosa Parks, the woman on the bus

In 1955, this African–American woman refused to give up her seat in a bus to a white woman. Her courageous resistance inspired the movement for civil rights for African-Americans. This led to a protest movement, whose leader was later to be the young preacher Martin Luther King, Jr..

  • Marianne Großpietsch from Germany

She established important social and medical projects in Kathmandu, Nepal, where in 1992 she initiated the Shanti Leprosy Aid. Further branches followed. She simply could not say no. She collected donations in Germany for her projects which she personally supervised.

  • Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon

As a child she had to flee from North to South Korea during the war in that country. Later she accompanied her husband on his many peace missions, such as that to Moscow in 1990, and to Pyongyang in North Korea in 1991. In 1992, she, together with her husband, established the Women’s Federation for World Peace. She traveled the world over giving the founding speech and inspiring many women to work for peace. Mrs. Seewald then explained the vision and goals of the International Women’s Federation for World Peace, with special reference to Germany’s role.

The official part of the program came to an end with the playing of the song ‘One Woman’ (http://song.unwomen.org), specially composed for the UN International Women’s Day 2013 and released on March 8.

In appreciation of her work with the Women’s Federation in Germany, Rita Seewald was presented with a turquoise colored necklace. She was decorated with this necklace right there on the podium!

After a group photograph, refreshments in the form of drinks and baked goodies were served, and an informal get-together rounded off the afternoon.

A donation of 120€ for the 1% Love Sharing Project, an aid project of the Women’s Federation for North Korea, was raised by the sale of postcards and cups.

International Women's Day 2013 from Universal Peace Federation International

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