Through the Center for Women, Faith & Leadership (CWFL), the Institute for Global Engagement supports and equips women of faith to assume and advance in leadership roles and influence decision making in global affairs, with particular emphasis in areas where women are most affected yet have had the least influence—religious freedom, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding. As the host organization of the Center for Women, Faith & Leadership, the Institute for Global Engagement's programs, have been developed over nearly 20 years as a proven way forward. We believe there is reason for optimism amid this gloomy state of affairs. IGE creatively responds to the acute needs of our world by reaching out to marginalized religious believers and their governments. Our efforts help establish a middle ground where religious freedom is protected, conflict averted, and political stability maintained. Our approach directly addresses religious persecution and its victims not only through immediate response, but also by creating conditions for peace and opportunities for flourishing in the future (read more about the IGE approach here).
As an outgrowth of IGE's experiences, the Center for Women of Faith & Leadership (CWFL) was established. CWFL has grown out of overseas experiences where women have provided IGE’s efforts with much needed unique insight and implementation. Through these experiences, IGE has discovered that the only thing less included in international affairs than religion, is religious women. Women of faith are needed now in these forums, in order to help our world come closer to true religious freedom, conflict resolution, and peace.
OR To Donate By Check: Institute for Global Engagement PO Box 12205 Arlington, Virginia 22219-2205 Please include "CWFL" in the memo line of your donation. IGE is a non-partisan non-profit that is legally registered as a 501(c)3 organization. Donations to IGE are tax-deductible. Our tax ID number is: 23-3042456.
Women of Faith's Unique Role in Peace & Security
According to United Nations Women, between 1992 and 2011, fewer than 4% of signatories to peace agreements and less than 10% of negotiators at peace tables were women. However, research has revealed that where women were involved in peace processes the probability of peace agreements lasting at least two years increased by 20%, and lasting at least 15 years increased by 35% (UN Women, “Facts & Figures,” 2015).
Today more than ever, we are seeing that decisions of peace and security are based on a male, upper class, hard-power perspective, which discounts the importance of diversity in gender, religion, culture, ethnicity and profession simply by upholding the status quo. What is the tragic result? There is a lack of responsible, ethical, and holistic responses to conflict, peace, and security issues that have a negative generational impact.
Women of faith offer the response needed, especially in helping to solve global conflicts that are connected to spiritual/religious ideologies. If 84% of the world’s population (50% being women) believe in something greater than themselves, then the people who have the greatest chance of changing the hearts and minds of religiously-motivated conflict – women of faith – should be included in the decision-making process (Pew Research Center, "The Global and Religious Landscape," 2012). Indeed, including religious actors has been shown to provide “unique leverage for promoting reconciliation among conflicting parties, including the ability to re-humanize situations that have become dehumanized over the course of protracted conflict” (International Center for Religion & Diplomacy).
Now more than ever, women of faith are needed in order to influence decision-making and bring about responsible, ethical, and holistic peace and security in our world, not just for today but for generations to come.
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The Center for Women, Faith & Leadership (CWFL) at IGE supports and equips women of faith to assume and advance in leadership roles and influence decision making in global affairs, with particular emphasis in areas where women are most affected yet have had the least influence—religious freedom, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding.