Joyce S. Dubensky is CEO Emerita of Tanenbaum, a globally recognised thought leader in the field of interreligious understanding. Joyce led Tanenbaum for over 18 years to make the world safer through the organization's work with religious peacemakers in armed conflicts worldwide and by working closely with Tanenbaum’s Peacemakers in Action Network to enhance knowledge exchange, dialogue, and collaborative efforts for peace. Internationally, Joyce presents trainings and workshops for audiences from UN agencies, international organizations, and academic institutions.
Dialogue Knowledge Hub
Women’s Voices as a Key to Peace
Violent conflict disproportionately affects women and girls and intensifies pre-existing gender inequalities and discrimination. Women are active agents of peace in armed conflict. Research has shown that women’s presence in peace agreements has a positive effect on lasting peace. Yet their role as key players and change agents of peace has been largely unrecognized. In 2019, UK Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, stated that “when women do meaningfully participate in a peace process the impact is profound, with the resulting agreement 64% less likely to fail and 35% more likely to last at least fifteen years.”
Co-hosted with Tanenbaum, this webinar aims to highlight interfaith efforts in advancing women’s presence in peacebuilding and promoting lasting peace, while drawing particular attention to the progress that women from faith organizations and communities are making. The all-female panel of speakers will demonstrate the strengths of women as peacebuilders from an interfaith perspective, and put a spotlight on women who advocate and work for peace through their religious organizations and communities. They will discuss the active role they and other women are taking in peacebuilding, conflict transformation, and advancing stability.
Dr. Sarah AK Ahmed is an Iraqi national and Baghdad native. As a young Muslim woman working for a Christian charity in service of Christians and other persecuted religious minorities, Sarah is a target for extremists who do not recognise her Muslim faith as “correct.” Her compassion and her faith are much stronger than her fear. As Deputy Country Director at Preemptive Love Coalition, Sarah has provided for thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees fleeing religious persecution and the dominion and cruelty of ISIS, helping those who need basic medical care, housing relief, and education. Sarah has a deep passion to make a change in her country and continues to do so through efforts with BILPeace and Preemptive Love Coalition. She also serves as the International Advisor for the MOYA Foundation (Moving our Youth Ahead). Sarah is a Tanenbaum Peacemaker in Action.
Elizabeth Arif-Fear is a young British Muslim and award-winning activist, who is passionate about protecting human rights, promoting peace, and strengthening intercultural/interfaith cohesion. She is Founder and Director of Voice of Salam.
Her main interests include women’s rights, refugee and migrant rights and issues surrounding multiculturalism, anti-extremism, and community cohesion – in particular, Jewish-Muslim relations. Elizabeth works in communications and fundraising in the human rights sector and with a range of organizations and bodies dedicated to protecting human rights, promoting peace, reconciliation, and inclusion, strengthening interfaith cohesion and eradicating prejudice.
Dishani Jayaweera is the director, programme designer and strategist of the Centre for Peacebuilding and Reconciliation (CPBR). Dishani has received awards for her outstanding contributions to peacebuilding work in Sri Lanka. In 2013, she cofounded 'WOMAN' to explore the role of women religious leaders and young girls in healing body, mind, soul and soil. The organization operates on the belief that the peacebuilding process begins with individuals. CPBR is working with young people, women, and community, and religious leaders, understanding them to be powerful shapers of social attitudes and behaviours in Sri Lanka, and key to bridging religious and ethnic divisions. CPBR encourages personal transformations that, in turn, empower communities to seek structural and political change. The organization’s interfaith work promotes understanding among Sinhalese Buddhists, Tamil Hindus, Muslims, and Tamil and Sinhalese Christians through dialogue, training in conflict analysis and transformation, and supporting clergy as they mobilise communities to experience the joy of interdependence and coexistence. Dishani is a Tanenbaum Peacemaker in Action.
Sakena Yacoobi is the Executive Director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), which she founded in 1995 in response to the lack of education and health care that the Afghan people were facing after decades of war and strife. Since its founding, AIL has either directly or indirectly impacted the lives of millions of Afghans. Under her leadership, AIL continues as an innovative organization working at the grassroots level helping communities and individuals. Sakena is a Tanenbaum Peacemaker in Action.
Grace Wanja Kamau supports the implementation of the Better World framework initiatives at the World Scout Bureau’s Africa Support Centre. Better World Framework initiatives are a set of coordinated programmes, campaigns, calls to action, and events designed to develop the competencies of young people to become active global citizens by taking action around issues related to sustainable development. A key programme in this framework is the Dialogue for Peace Programme, developed in partnership with KAICIID, which enables Scouts to better understand the principles of dialogue and incorporate them in their daily lives and activities. Grace supports dialogue through training of Scouts, engaging in community actions that promote dialogue and supporting and documenting community grassroots actions being done by Scouts. Grace is also a KAICIID Fellow.