Watford Bridge of Peace

Empowering Women in Conflict Resolution

Bridge of Peace photo.

Last year, the Watford Bridge of Peace WFWP received a grant from the Home Office for its work of bringing together women from different backgrounds and especially for reaching out to women from the Muslim community. The grant was spent on 4 projects: a seminar on the Dignity of Women and the Fashion today, the celebration of both Christmas and Eid, a day trip for Christian and Muslim women to St Albans Cathedral and the celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Watford Bridge of Peace.

The rest of the grant was allocated for training courses in order to develop the Bridge of Peace project. As part of the courses, we organized on Friday 29th August a one day seminar on “Empowering Women in Conflicts Resolution”

The seminar took place at the Watford YMCA and was co-ordinated by Sneha Lalsodagar a professional trainer advised by the grant officers. Nineteen women from various communities around Watford participated: African, Afro Caribbean, Pilipino, Irish, English, European, Pakistani and Japanese. The seminar was very interactive and we all enjoyed it very much. The ladies had the opportunity to express themselves and some even shared their personal difficulties. Sneha divided us in small groups of 2 or 3 and asked us to reflect on: what is conflict? What is the effect of conflicts, the behaviour? What are the various steps to take to deal with conflict and how to bring reconciliation, win win situation instead of win lose situation? The result of the discussion groups was then reported to the main group. After lunch, Tina Coombs from the WFWP gave a talk on the “Dignity of Women” awakening in us the good qualities of women and our role in the family and community. Tina also explained about the work of the WFWP regarding the achievement of the UN third millennium goal of gender equality. She mentioned the awful plight of women and children involved in human trafficking today and what can be done about it.

We concluded the day feeling uplifted and confident about what we learned. Hopefully in time of conflicts we will remember the advice we received and we will be able to bring it into practice. The seminar also brought us closer to each other, having the opportunity to share our personal concerns and experiences in an open and friendly environment.


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