Humanity and Gender: our challenge to ourselves and to you
‘The human race is at a critical crossroads: On the one hand, a new global consciousness is beginning to emerge, a feeling for one another that surpasses race, creed or gender; a knowing that we are in truth brother and sister. This arising feeling is calling for a different response and responsibility about creating a global community in which the values of respect, care and dignity due to each life, regardless of gender, are integral to the fabric of every community. On the other hand, there is a huge cry of desperation in nations around the world as we search for new solutions to escalating poverty, disease, war, terrorism, and environmental degradation…
As a human race, we cannot address the problems of the world without addressing the issues, attitudes and behaviours that are a departure from humanity, that still hold us back from becoming part of the solution rather than continuing to be part of the problem. One gender on its own cannot solve the problems of the world. The two genders coming together to serve humanity itself may have a chance. We seek to build a new vision about what it means to be a man or woman, working towards a partnership between the genders that honours the strength, richness and nobility that is inherent to both.
The world and we the human race urgently need peace and peace of mind. Together we in Feminenza shall continue to strive towards that peace and towards a better inheritance for the children of tomorrow. Each of us is an agent of change and whilst one can always point to changes that are needed in the governance of any situation we, each of us, must come to accept responsibility at the personal level for the future of this planet. Governments follow the wish of the people. Thus it is upon us individually – and collectively – to live by, to enshrine values which we seek for this planet.’
In January 2006 Feminenza hosted a 4 day conference at the UN in Nairobi entitled ‘Humanity and Gender (Utu na Undugu): A Gathering of Vision in a Time of Change’ in which each of these challenges was worked through by some 80 NGOs. It represented a milestone in UNESCO PEER’s Culture of Peace Network.
Feminenza has since continued the programme, assisting women and men from Africa’s Great Lakes Region (mainly Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, Somalia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya) to build respect and deepen bonds across ethnic, tribal, socio economic and gender divides. Through our work, we have also been able to offer assistance to girls and women from the Region to shed the longer term scars left by rape and genocide.
We are grateful to Paul Gomis at UNESCO PEER for his encouragement and continued support. With his help and the encouragement of the UNESCO PEER Culture of Peace network were able to launch the Forgiveness and Reconciliation programme. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.