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“Everything in this universe has a purpose and we have a higher purpose. Recognizing that and valuing life is what is harmony,” said Ms Bhanumathi Narasimhan, Chairperson of the International Women Conference, 2014 that concluded on Sunday at the Art of Living International Center, Bangalore, India.
Her Excellency Dr. Husn Banu Ghazanfar, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Afghanistan; The Hon’able Ms. Hijran Huseynova, Chairwoman of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs of Azerbaijan Republic, Azerbaijan; The Honorable Ms. Aliza Lavie, Member of Parliament were eminent people who had shared their views at this event’s inaugural day.
Promotion of the education of the Girl Child took the center-stage at the conference. Deliberations around innovative ways to promote and develop harmonious and progressive society was highlighted in the conference that got conducted from February 7 to 9, 2014. A sixth biennial International Conference, about 800 delegates from 59 countries participated in this three day conference that orchestrated the theme ‘Harmony- Evolution towards Perfection’.
The conference was a perfect platform for discussion on issues over gender inequality, domestic violence, women’s security and female infanticide, those aspects around women’s empowerment and ways to overcome societal challenges in a sustainable manner. In a journey of harmony the need of the hour across the Globe is to move from conflict to peace, corruption to good governance and non-violence so as to nurture harmony between the inner and outer world was emphasized.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of the Art of Living said, “Harmony comes from within and it needs to be cultivated from childhood.” Sri Sri emphasized on the need for a co-ordinated effort among all the stakeholders to work for women empowerment and to prevent violence against women.
Irina Rukina, Co-chair, Counsel of Consolidation for Women’s Movement, Russia; Ms. Shirin Fatah, Political Leader, Iraq; Ms. Kathrine Aspaas, Journalist & Writer, Norway; Ms. Cathie Burton, Spokesperson, Council of Europe, France, Strasbourg; Ms.Tatyana Poronova, Deputy Governor, Murmansk Region, Russia; Ms.Tanika Gray Valbrun, News Editor, CNN, Atlanta, USA were a few prominent names that graced the event.”
Instituted for the first time, Vishalakshi Global Award was awarded to Ms. Asha Bhonsle, a singing icon, by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Emphasizing on the role of the harmony to build strong nations, former President of Sri Lanka, Her Excellency Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga shared, “Morality of parents, spirituality of leaders can change society. A leader who stands for harmony can move hearts. A leader has to be magnanimous and not vindictive.”
Albeit the difference of opinions the spokespersons of BJP and Congress, Ms. Meenakshi Lekhi and Ms.Rita Bahuguna Joshi shared the dais. In her address, Rita Bahuguna highlighted the harmonious aspect of India’s culture and tradition at the same time explore means to harness women’s ability to help them successfully face the challenges in life.
Meenakshi Lekhi implied the importance to resolve all problems through resorting to Dharma and the need to be responsible for a harmonious World.
She was confident that the deliberations in the conference would take concrete form in action. An online session with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was quite interesting. “The objective is to create a platform for women to come together and share their common interests, achievements and success stories, to find solutions through dialogue and take home solutions of great thinkers and speakers. It is a bridge between the rural and the educated woman; how we can learn from each other and how we can appreciate life,” said Bhanumathi Narasimhan.
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