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Women for Peace

Women join together for peace

May 20, 2016 | Nick Taylor

Women join together for peace

This weekend, women from Blackburn, Manchester and Liverpool will come together at the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace centre to celebrate the end of another year of the Women for Peace (W4P) project.

They will share in a celebratory lunch at the peace centre, and although they have been participants on the same course, they will be meeting each other for the first time, and for many it will be their first visit to Warrington.

Once the women arrive from their respective towns and cities they will tour the peace centre and undertake a workshop to get to know each other and share experiences. This is followed by lunch, then a second workshop focused on motivating the women to continue being leaders for peace in their communities,

There will then be a certificate ceremony hosted by Founder Colin Parry OBE and coffee and cakes before they head home.

Women for Peace

Women are disproportionately affected by conflict. We know from conflicts and wars of the past that women have often become the ‘builders’ and ‘fixers’ not only in their families but in their communities.

But to what extent can they prevent conflict? To what extent can they play a role in being the leading light to affect change and to breaking the cycle of violence?

Women for Peace is one of the Foundation’s newest projects and the past year has seen remarkable growth.

Delivering to women from three major towns and cities in the North West, the project has been a major success with over 162 women directly involved in the programme and the events they themselves have organised and led reaching over 230 people.

W4P explores conflict, from its root causes and effects through to developing the tools and techniques to manage it constructively. The past year has seen an increase in numbers of people being drawn towards extreme groups. Radicalisation has become a hot topic for our women. Led by their requests, the curriculum has focussed on this phenomenon to help them understand the push and pull factors towards extreme groups, and how they can play a role in challenging the divisive ‘us and them’ narratives that threaten to polarise our communities. They have reported feeling empowered to act as a result.

The key to the project’s success has been women’s recognition of the role they can play in building better understanding and relations between themselves and others. Community Dialogue and World Café style dialogue events reaching out to other communities have been brainstormed, planned and delivered by our women over the past year.

We plan to hold W4P courses in four areas starting in September 2016.

For more information follow Twitter @women4p or e-mail info@foundation4peace.org