Peace and Disarmament

Back to listApr 23, 2007

SGI-Thailand Hosts Third Women for Peace Conference

From April 20-23, 2007, SGI-Thailand (SGT) hosted "Women's Empowerment: Network of Friendship for Peace," the third Women for Peace Conference (WPC) in Asia. Over 50 women representatives from Singapore Soka Association (SSA), SGI-Malaysia, SGI-Cambodia and SGI-Laos joined the nearly 2,000 SGT women of all ages at the SGT Headquarters building.

Dr. Juree (2nd from right) views the "Women and the Culture of Peace Exhibition" sponsored by the SGT women, accompanied by SGT General Director Somkiat Limrossukon (right) and SGT WD Chief Ms. Patoomporn (3rd from right)

Speaking at the conference, prominent scholar and women's rights advocate Juree Vichit Vadakan, who is also former president of Thailand's National Institute of Development Administration, underscored the importance of an equal partnership in marriage in which both spouses share responsibility for the family, including housework and child-rearing. She urged that only then can women be a contributive partner in creating peace in society and the world at large. Dr. Juree's sentiments coincided with those of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda, who stated in his congratulatory message, "Although it is called world peace, it must start from 'happiness within one's own family and community'... starting from ourselves."

"Icebreaker" games help build friendships among SGI Asia women

SGT national women's leader Patoomporn Limrossukon wholeheartedly welcomed the representatives from Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia and Laos with whom the Thai women were eagerly looking forward to engaging in discussions to gain inspiration for concrete actions for peace. She called on the audience to feel an imperative for creating peace and realize that women play an important role in sparking genuine actions that lead to peace and stability. She affirmed, "Women should not remain passive."

Nonthanburi Province Administration Director Mr. Vacharint (right) entrusts certificate for Mr. and Mrs. Ikeda to Ms. Patoomporn

On April 21, Nonthaburi Province, an area in the greater Bangkok Metropolitan Area wth a population of over one million, recognized the SGI President and his wife Kaneko Ikeda for their longstanding support of peace, culture and education. Provincial Administration Office Director Vacharint Rojanaparnich, representing Governor Cherdwit Ridprasat, lauded the SGT members and the Ikedas for their contributions to society.

Despite the short time they spent together, the SGI women participants were able to create meaningful bonds through sharing the activities of their respective countries as well as their personal challenges of advancing trust and understanding of the SGI and the humanistic philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism. While attending local discussion meetings, the visiting members also shared inspiring testimonials of their Buddhist practice. At the end of the conference, the women shed tears of solidarity and joy as well as tears of sadness at parting, while promising to meet again to report on future successes and victories.

SGT children welcome SGI-Cambodia representatives during local discussion meetings
National SSA women and young women's division leaders join in Thai dance

[Adapted from an article in the April 30, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan, and an article by Tan Hsih Yin and Mary Seow in the May 9, 2007 issue of the SSA Times, Singapore Soka Association. Photos courtesy of SGI-Thailand]