IALRW Interfaith Seminar in Malaysia

The International Association of Liberal Religious Women, a branch of the IARF and one of the oldest interfaith women’s organizations in the world (founded in 1910), co-organized an interfaith seminar in Malaysia on 7-8 February.  The seminar brought together women from Malaysia, Yemen, Myanmar, Cashmere, Sri Lanka, Japan and Europe, and included two public sessions: “Plight of Domestic Helpers: Interfaith Perspectives” and “Conflict and War: Direct Accounts.”

Rev. Esther R. Suter, IALRW Vice-President from Switzerland, summed up the sessions as follows:

Domestic helpers is a crucial topic in Malaysia withconference-malaysia-ialrw
mainly women (“maids”) coming from Indonesia, often immigrants without a legal status or documents. Faith communities such as Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian (Roman-Catholic) Sikh and Taoist exposed the situation and presented their approach on a spiritual as well as social, moral and communitarian level.

Although the women gathered in Kuala Lumpur had a variety of approaches, presented separately, they managed to formulate firm recommendations to be addressed to the government, for training, support and protection of workers; regulation of agencies providing staff; and fostering right relationships with workers within families, respecting them as human beings.

The topic “Conflict and War: direct accounts” was presented by four IIUM students. They came from Burma, Yemen, Kashmir and Syria. With the exception of the student from Kashmir, they all presented conflict situations involving Muslims and another faith group and exposed the political conflict as an intentionally created religious conflict, which exploits religions for political and power strategies.

Here you can read the full report by Rev. Suter published at oikumene.org, and here her more detailed account of the stories told by four participants of the seminar: women from Myanmar, Yemen, Cashmere and Malaysia from protestinfo.ch (in French).

Leave a Reply

Read more

IARF Applauds Rejection of Bill to Repeal FGM Ban in The Gambia

IARF applauds The Gambia’s rejection of the bill to repeal the FGM ban. This decision upholds crucial protections for women and girls, aligning with international human rights standards. The 2015 ban on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) remains a significant milestone in the global effort to eradicate this harmful practice. IARF continues to support human rights and bodily integrity worldwide.

Read More »

Access to Worship at Native Hawaiian Shrine Denied

Explore the controversy surrounding Kane’aki Heiau, a sacred Hawaiian shrine now inaccessible due to private property laws. Learn about the clash between indigenous religious rights and U.S. property regulations, and the efforts to protest this restriction on freedom of worship at an ancient temple.

Read More »

Can a purpose for religion be deduced?

Religion largely aims to instill the Golden Rule, emphasizing compassion across different traditions, as highlighted on Karen Armstrong’s CharterforCompassion.org. This ethos, promoting altruism, drives human survival and outlines initiatives like the Unitarian Universalist Association’s commitment to transforming the world through liberating love, addressing global ills such as hate, greed, and social inequalities.

Read More »
Translate »