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Viewpoints about "Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities, Progress for All"

Viewpoints about "Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities, Progress for All," expressed during observances of  International Women's Day 2010 organized by the Universal Peace Federation.

"UPF emphasizes the essential importance of women in addressing issues of peace and development in all sectors, including politics, business, culture, and religion. Women must be encouraged and empowered to assume leadership roles in the resolution of conflict, peace building, and sustainable development.” - Rev. Linda Mougel, Chair, UPF-Belize City, Belize

"I tell women they don't need to look for power. You are divinely powered. You can fulfill any role in society and still be a woman, wife, and mother." – H.E. Joy Ogwu, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations

“As a program editor I have interviewed or met several female politicians and got to know one or two of them over the years. Among them were Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan; Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh; and the former President of Sri Lanka, Chandrika Kumaratunga. It’s often been pointed out that such women leaders came to power because of their fathers or husbands. But what struck me most about them was how isolated they appeared to be, surrounded by people who often only told them what they wanted to hear. The pressures on them were enormous, and they had to make agonizing choices." – Rita Payne, former Editor, BBC Asia; chair, Commonwealth Journalists’ Association-UK

“Most of the ‘empowered’ women in India were from leading families and had the advantages of financial resources. The challenge is now to extend those opportunities and rights to a broader range of women.” - Mrs. Kalawati Subba, Former Minister, Current Member of the Sikkim State Planning Commission, India

“March 8 is associated in our country with the beginning of spring, warmth, and many warm smiles of the better half of humankind. We wanted to see smiles on the faces of women working in the Central Market of Novosibirsk, who were not expecting to receive congratulations on that day. We wanted to bring joy and inspiration to them on Women’s Day and show an example to the youth of how much more pleasing it can be to share joy than to just receive it.” - Anastasia Mikhakhanova, UPF-Novosibirsk, Russia

"We share common ground so that we may help bring new dignity and respect to women and girls all over the world and in so doing, bring new strength and stability to our families and society. We need to realize the fullness of our abilities. God blessed us with so many virtues and so much potential, the top being the heart of motherly love." – Lily Tadin, President, Women’s Federation for World Peace, Canada

“After the attacks of 9-11, many Americans concluded that Muslims as a group hated Americans and wanted to kill Americans. At Project Mosaic we are working with Muslim friends in the UK, the US, the Middle East, Asia, and elsewhere to move beyond the fear and ignorance, and break the vicious cycle of group hatred. With a conversation, over a cup of tea or at a youth club or at a gathering of mothers at a refugee centre or talking with family members and friends, we are working to amplify the voice of the outsider – that person who takes a weakness and transforms it into a strength.” – Pat Callo, Trustee, Project Mosaic, UK

“Until now men have dominated history. To counterbalance this, in this era of globalization, women should create their history, or ‘her’ story. Women need to take a more prominent role in decision-making as well as writing history.” – Brigitte Wada, president, Women’s Federation for World Peace, France

“Although women have made many strides in society, we seem to have lost sight of what it is we really want. Do we want to be the same as men or be treated as equal human beings in society? Do we want to be mothers and wives or just career women? Whatever it is that we want, we need to realize that we need to do the work ourselves and not rely on governments and organizations to do it for us.” - Hadia Saad, Coordinator of Women’s Programs, Alulbayt Foundation, London

"Peace starts at home, with young generations learning respect and cooperation." - Rev. Tsu-Wei Zoe Chang, President, United Nations Women's Guild

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UPF Statement on the Status of Women

The Universal Peace Federation upholds the essential value and central role of women in peacebuilding and human development.

UPF affirms the need for women to serve in leadership positions throughout the world in all sectors of society.

UPF recognizes the equal value of men and women. Their absolute value derives from a common origin, God. God is the origin of both men and women, and all of God’s creation manifests complementary masculine and feminine aspects.

Men and women are extensions and manifestations of God’s harmonious masculinity and femininity. The complementary relationship between men and women expresses the wholeness of human experience. Thus, there should be no gender discrimination but rather harmony of the sexes through love.

Throughout history, women have taken the leading role in cultivating families as the dwelling places of peace and love, in shaping the individual character of children, and in fostering harmonious social relationships. In the family, both father and mother are equally entitled to reverence and honor. The path toward establishing global peace begins with strengthening families.

The ideal of peace is at the core of all religions. Through dialogue and mutual understanding, there can be peace among religions, and peace among religions is a necessary prerequisite for world peace. Women can and should play a central role in promoting interfaith understanding and cooperation.

UPF emphasizes the essential importance of women in addressing issues of peace and development in all sectors, including politics, business, culture, and religion. Women must be encouraged and empowered to assume leadership roles in the resolution of conflict, peacebuilding, and sustainable development.

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