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International Women's Day 2017 - UPF principles uphold the dignity of women in equal status with men both representing their unique value and nature. Therefore UPF marks this day each year in the calendar. #IWD2017

It was very sad that people lost their lives or were seriously injured yesterday, particularly the unarmed Police Officer who was killed at a gate I have passed by many times. Those hurt were from France, Romania, South Korea as well as the UK. Some of our guests went early to Parliament and were held inside Parliament in lock down. We were able to change our event to Lancaster Gate at short notice and continue our lives despite terrorism. We had a wonderful programme commemorating International Women's Day. #IWD #UPF More information speakers biographies etc: http://uk.upf.org/ukupf/peace-and-development/812-international-women-s-day-2017


Margaret Ali - International Women’s Day Speech:

UPF principles uphold the dignity of women in equal status with men both representing their unique value and nature. Everyone loses if women are not in this position because the qualities that women can offer are not brought to bear on the tasks at hand. There are qualities such as reconciling, nurturing, demonstrating compassion in times of need, utilising motherly nature of affection and opting or negotiation when necessary and finally the famous, multitasking which are on average more available to women. It is not necessary to become more masculine than men to become leaders, as some women leaders have forged themselves.

The global economy is also losing out because of this.

The study in 2015 by market index provider MSCI, looked at more than 4,000 public companies around the world and found those with boardrooms featuring "strong female leadership" saw a 36.4% greater return on equity since the study began in 2009: 10.1% vs. a 7.4% return for the companies with a more male-dominated leadership. MSCI defines a company as having "strong female leadership" if its board has at least three female members, or if the percentage of female directors is higher than average in the country where that company is based.

State Street Global Advisors Hedge Fund, on March 8th 2017, which has roughly $2.5 trillion under management, announced Tuesday that it would pressure 3,500 companies worth $30 trillion in market cap to aim for gender parity on their boards. Company boards represent shareholders and vet executives' actions.

"Today, we are calling on companies to take concrete steps to increase gender diversity on their boards and have issued clear guidance to help them begin to take action," Ron O'Hanley, CEO of SSGA said in a statement.

Investors are looking for the better results more balanced Company boards provide.

Women try to resolve things more by finding a middle way or by getting people together to dialogue. A range of studies illustrate that economies are missing out on the substantial opportunities for added growth and development.

'The World Economic Forum Gender Gap Report shows that where the gender gap is smaller in a range of areas-including access to education, health survivability, economic participation, and political participation-countries and economies are more competitive and prosperous. A Goldman Sachs paper notes that a reduction in barriers to female labour force participation would increase the size of America's gross domestic product (GDP) by 9 percent, the Euro Zone's by 13 percent, and Japan's by 16 percent.'

The Co-Founder of UPF, Father Moon described this time as the 'age of women' to take their rightful place in partnership with men. He called for the creation of a 'women's peace corps' to support the efforts to resolve conflicts and promote peace. I found it interesting that later the ground breaking United Nations Resolution 1325 called for the same dynamic of the inclusion of those qualities in peace-making efforts. 'The Security Council adopted resolution (S/RES/1325) on women and peace and security on 31 October 2000. The resolution reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction and stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.' (http://www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/wps/)


We need to do this together with men, involving them in the process, in order to obtain women's rightful position. This will demonstrate the mutual benefit of working together and complementing one another’s qualities. This is the principle of the basis for all relationships between men and women, that we need one another. (Including in the most essential of all partnerships, in marriage.) This attitude will also allow men to take their position in partnership with women for the benefit of all.

From a recent speech by the other Co-Founder of UPF, Mother Hak Ja Han Moon, on the relationship of men and women:

“Beloved woman leaders who seek peace! What is the path that humankind should take today? In the end, the problems afflicting humanity can only be resolved through the logic of love and the understanding that we are all one family under God. This is the teaching of true love with God at the center that my husband and I, as the True Parents, received from Heaven. We have championed and taught this precious truth throughout our lives. This ideal represents the path that will lead humanity to a world of everlasting peace and happiness.

We women were not put on earth merely to help, or to be protected by, men. We are independent individuals who, as representatives of the feminine aspect of God's nature, are meant to help men become more complete.

Through true love, women are to be men's precious partners in love. Men and women are absolutely equal in terms of value.

Men and women who unite through the true love that is inherent in the original ideal share the same position and have equal worth. Also, they attain the right to be with each other, wherever they may be. Thus, a man and woman who are brought into oneness through the original love in God's ideal of true love have been created as equal beings, sharing not only the same status and the right of participation, but also their possessions with each other.

Men and women do not need to struggle with each other, because they do not need to imitate the characteristics, dispositions or roles of the other. It is not necessary to confront, compete or covet the things of the other, or take them by force. Instead, by giving what one has to the other, with true love, and by completing the other, they can become united as a greater whole and share in a relationship of joint ownership.

Now women and men should play a major role in world history, by serving alongside each other like the wheels of a great engine pulling the construction of a peaceful world forward. Today I invite women to accept an important role and become the turning point in building a new century characterized by a loving, peaceful culture.
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23/03/2017
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