On 26 June 2022, SGI Australia organized an online event titled “Creating a Culture of Peace — Making a Difference as Peacebuilders in Daily Life.” The event drew inspiration from a dialogue conducted through correspondence between SGI President Daisaku Ikeda and professor and peace activist Elise Boulding, which was encapsulated in their book Into Full Flower — Making Peace Cultures Happen. Their dialogue stresses the significant roles that women in particular play in realizing peace in the realm of everyday life and society.
Panelists from SGI-Australia included Vanna Rodda (Victoria), Kate Clarkson (New South Wales), Francesca Cardoni (Western Australia) and panel facilitator Nupur Sood (New South Wales). Serena Rix Tripathee, an International Committee Member of the women’s peace network Creators of Peace was a guest speaker. All shared their visions for peace and the actions they can take in daily life to realize the culture of peace.
In her activities with the NGO Fitted for Work, Vanna Rodda helps women experiencing disadvantages to find work, keep work and navigate through their working lives successfully. Tying this mission into broader peace initiatives, she commented, “Peace is to live in harmony with everything that exists and grows in our environment—to learn from it, respect it, honor it and not exploit or dominate it. Contributing to society does not have to be a complicated thing; in fact it should start at home with those who are right in front of us.”
Kate Clarkson drew on Gandhi’s words and shared, “We can build social peace by establishing peace in the minds of women, and ‘when this happens, the power of women for peace reaches its full strength and society has no choice but to change.’”
Francesca Cardoni, who spoke next, lives in a co-housing community, which has given her a unique perspective on peace building. She shared, “Communities are micro societies that reflect the macro society… Based on [sociocratic] consensus decision making, I am learning to share responsibilities, to collaborate with other members running the community, to negotiate differences, to make concessions, to accept decisions I don’t agree with [and] to be compassionate.”
Concluding the panel, Serena Rix Tripathee shared her experience leading nationwide peacebuilding programs in Nepal for Search for Common Ground, and with women globally through Creators of Peace. She stressed the importance of finding the role each of us can play in building peace, and taking the “third side”—seeking “win win win” solutions that consider the perspective of both sides but also of the wider community. When asked what helps her stay motivated, Tripathee said, “It’s being with women. One of the most powerful forces of this century is women finding their voice, finding their power, collaborating and amplifying each other. We are discovering what we can do and what we can be. When we come together, that’s where extraordinary power lies.”
Making Peace Cultures Happen | Dialogue between Daisaku Ikeda and Elise Boulding
Gender equality & women's empowerment
The Power of Young Women to Lead