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May peace be with her

Development and Peace Campaign

Two formation sessions for the new fall campaign for Development and Peace with the theme "Women at the Heart of Peace" took place recently at Maison Jésus-Marie and Résidence Marie-Rose-Durocher. These sessions organized by Sister Phyllis Douillard and Mrs. Dorothy Guha, both members of the organization, and assisted by Sister Jeanne Dagenais of the Solidarity-Justice Committee, helped to draw attention to the positive influence of women.

At Maison Jésus-Marie, a celebration of the Word, led by Sister Jeanne Dagenais, set the tone for the meeting during which the work of numerous women of faith, agents of peace in the world, was highlighted.
“… supporting women is supporting peace”

The formation session followed the same scenario in both residences. After a warm welcome to the Sisters and Associates present, the audience was invited to share on the meaning of peace, taking into account each one’s experience. Small group discussions and the plenary session provided a better understanding of the participants' perceptions.

In the next segment, three Sisters representing the three peacemakers who were profiled in the Development and Peace booklet, spoke of their experiences of peace.

To increase the participants’ knowledge, Sister Phyllis completed the session by disclosing a wealth of information stressing the crucial role of women in conflict prevention and peace building. It is unfortunately realized that women's expertise is largely underestimated and that they are constantly excluded from formal peace processes. In addition, their organizations suffer from chronic underfunding, which impedes their growth and their positive contribution.

Relevant data… 

• Women contribute to reducing violence
A mere increase of 5% of women's presence in Parliament results in a State being five times less likely to resort to violence in an international crisis.
• Women strengthen peace building 
Whenever women participate in drawing up a peace accord, it is 35 % more likely to last at least 15 years. 
• Women contribute to maintaining peace 
The risk of the resurgence of a conflict is almost nil when 35 % of parliamentarians are women.
Let us act for peace
To give meaning and depth to this educational process, a ritual consisting of a song and a dance called on the participants to share in this peace movement. 
The meeting ended with a call to take action alongside women and women’s organizations who are working to build a more just and peaceful world.
The suggestion made was to sign the Development and Peace - Caritas Canada Action Card  asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to support women and women’s organizations who are working for peace, and to adopt a concrete strategy and a specific timeline for reaching a level of public development assistance which represents 0,7% of the gross revenue. 
May we, also, be at the heart of peace!
For further information on the Development and Peace Campaign
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