The University of San Diego welcomed four women from around the world to campus Friday for the 2015 Women Peacemakers Program.
The women, who hail from Afghanistan, Namibia, Israel and South Africa, began their two-month residency this week at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice.
The annual campus initiative pairs each of the women with a professional journalist who records their stories of survival and work to find peace amidst violence and conflict, according to USD.
The program has been documenting the stories and best practices of international women leaders involved in human rights and peacebuilding since 2003.
The women are:
— Judge Najla Ayoubi of Afghanistan, who was forced from her profession during the Taliban rule and returned to her country in 2001 to become active in recovery efforts;
— Pauline Dempers of Nambia, a human rights activist and co-founder of Breaking the Wall of Silence, which advocates for those affected by imprisonment and torture during Nambia’s war of independence;
— Galia Golan of Israel, an internationally known expert on Israeli- Palestinian politics and grassroots activist focused on women’s roles in peacebuilding and parliamentary activism; and
— Glenda Wildschut of South Africa, a human rights activist and peacebuilder who has used her role as a nurse, midwife and psychiatric nurse to collaborate with health care workers to establish trauma centers.
Kroc School of Peace Studies Dean Patricia Marquez said the women peacemakers inspire the university community to work for peace and justice.
“Each woman peacemaker joins USD to share narratives of kindness, wisdom and action to change situations of terrible violence and oppression, Marquez said. “Their presence and their voices humble and empower us to join in efforts leading to peace and justice.”
The women will share their stories with the local community through several speaking engagements, including the Women Peacemakers panel discussion on Oct. 7.
Each woman will share her individual story through the “Conversations With the Women Peacemakers” series on Oct. 13, 15, 20, and 27 at the Institute for Peace and Justice.
—City News Service
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