Dr. Wajeeha Al-Baharna, BWA vice president participated in the 5th Annual Forum on “Preventing extremism by promoting rights, peace and pluralism”, which was held on 12-14 November 2016 in Colombo the Sri Lankan capital, which was organized by the International Network for the work of civil society (ICAN).
The Forum addressed the role of women and women-led organizations in developing tools and methods to face intolerance, extremist ideology, and violence through using of education, training tools, media, social networking and other means. The forum also addressed the importance of strengthening social unity in light of the diversity in ethnicities, races, religions and generations.
The seminar provided opportunities for lessons learning and strategy sharing for scaling up efforts between grassroots and national civil society actors across countries facing similar manifestations. The sessions focused on working against extremism through civic/peace education, pluralism and non-violence rooted in religion and culture, rehabilitating individuals and communities that are stigmatized and acceptance and care for victims of conflict related sexual and gender based violence. Also enlightened religious readings were provided that urges tolerance, coexistence and respect for the rights of others and it proved that the rights, pluralism and non-violence is an integral part of religious teachings. It is worth mentioning that BWA published a training manual on the culture of peace for youth of both sexes.
The Forum was attended by 27 countries with more than 60 participants with long standing experience in addressing extremism and promoting peace, rights and pluralism to improve practices in communities affected by violence.