2020 and 2021 have been years like no other with the world determined to find solutions for the pandemic and recover. As we adjust to the ‘new normal’, today we commemorate the International Women’s Day by upholding the place of women and girls in our societies.

International Women's Day is a global day marked annually on March 8th to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year’s theme, “Women in leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World,” is a moment to reaffirm our commitment towards accelerating gender parity. It is a moment to celebrate women's achievements, raise awareness and lobby for accelerated gender equality.

The Arigatou International Advisory Group Member, Sh. Ibrahim Lethome and the GNRC Coordinator for Kenya, Sh. Ramadhan Aula, represented the GNRC Secretary General in the 2nd Zanzibar Peace Conference on 16th January 2021 in Zanzibar.

The two-day national conference, which was officially opened by the President and Chairman of the Revolution Council, H.E. Dr. Hussein Ali Hassan Mwinyi, was organized by GNRC Member, Friends of Zanzibar in partnership with Office of the President. 500 participants including representatives from the government, UN agencies, faith communities, civil society organizations, ambassadors, and members from the East Africa and the Great Lake region attended the conference. Other distinguished leaders that graced the event included First Vice President of Zanzibar, H.E. Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad; Second Vice President H.E. Hemed Suleiman Abdulla; State Minister, Office of the President, Justice and Constitutional Affairs, H.E. Haroun Ali Suleiman; Grand Mufti of Zanzibar, Sh. Saleh Al Kaabi; Chief Justice of Zanzibar, Justice Omar Othman Makungu; and the Speaker of National Assembly Zanzibar, H.E. Zubeir Ali Maulid.

On 27th December 2020, women beneficiaries from the Family Resilience project organized an informal meeting with children to enlighten them about the challenge of radicalization into violent extremism, and how they can protect themselves from becoming victims. The participants also commemorated the 20 years of interfaith collaboration for children by the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC).

The Network and Programs Coordinator of the GNRC, Dr. Dorcas Kiplagat, paid a courtesy visit to the women beneficiaries of the Family Resilience Project in Mombasa, Kenya on 27th December 2020. The visit was to evaluate progress of the five projects small and medium-sized enterprises based in Bombolulu area, comprising of Breakthrough Women Group that ventured into hair saloon business, Beba Nikubebe Women Group that specialized in egg vending, Nafahirwa Women Group that opened a charcoal business, and Pamoja Wamama Twaweza Women Group and Vitendo Tenda Women Group, both focusing in broiler chicken farming.

This year marks 20 years since the inauguration of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC). In May 2000, Rev. Takeyasu Miyamoto invited close to 300 faith leaders and grassroots child-rights organizations and individuals from the world’s major religious communities and spiritual traditions to Tokyo to launch the GNRC. Today, we celebrate 20 years of interfaith cooperation for children. This is a special moment for appreciating the extraordinary work of the GNRC members, led by 55 coordinators in 55 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Latin America and the Caribbean.

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