Women as Leaders; This kind of phrase usually conjures images of indomitable "Iron Ladies" in sharp suits competing with men in their own world, or Amazon queens on chariots leading their armies with blood curdling ferocity. Far from it though, this new initiative brings a whole new dynamic inspiration to the field of female emancipation, or more correctly a very ancient, new perspective to it. Headed by Bhanu Narasimhan from Bangalore India, this initiative at the World Culture Festival at the Berlin Olympic Stadium on 2nd and 3rd July 2011 celebrates and upholds the essential feminine qualities of ‘silent, quiet strength and power’. The World Culture Festival in Berlin stands to promote serenity and calm, as well as female creativity, as a means to move and work effectively in the world to achieve transformation and a coherent, harmonious society.
Uniting women of all ages and cultures at the World Culture Festival
Berlin and its Olympic Stadium may seem an unlikely venue for a major international celebration of the ‘soft and strong’ aspects of femininity. However on July 2nd, women of all ages, cultures and creeds will convene from around the world for the World Culture Festival, an event renowned for its colour, diversity and richness. The Women's conference, which forms a part of the festival in Berlin, is entitled ‘The Light of Leadership: Bringing Female Wisdom to the World’ and promises to be a powerful taster for Europe of the vision of this group and what they have to offer. It forms part of the ambitious and dramatic ‘World Culture Festival on 2nd and 3rd July ‘11. It is estimated that around 70,000 people from over 150 different countries will come together to celebrate ‘Harmony in Diversity’ in an event like never before.
Balancing male and female values for a peaceful society
The inspiration behind this whole event is the humanitarian leader Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. His view, drawn on the ancient Vedic culture of upholding the strength of the feminine in society is clearly stated. They feel that many of today’s problems arise from an unbalanced dominance of men and the male values in the world. As a strategy to deal with the ills of these times he says, ‘What we need is for women to come to the fore front and take responsibility. It is necessary that they bring the finer aspects of society, the feminine, with the transformative ability, the ability to create and make a difference in society.’ He goes on ‘If a project is not successful I think there has been less participation of women. Where women are determined, they can make any project successful. The biggest force is emotions and feeling, motivation and inspiration. Men can inspire to fight, women inspire to unite. In today’s war torn world, we need women to come to the forefront and take more responsibility, without getting stressed. This is very important. They need to bring the finer aspects of society; the feminine and the ability to create should not be separated. This transformative ability will change our society.’
Melting pot of cultures
This conference at the World Culture Festival in Berlin promises to be a condensed version of the highly successful and enjoyable three-day event happening bi-annually in India. Traditionally, this is a celebratory mixture of debate, networking, song, dance, meditation between women from all corners of the globe. In the past there has been open mingling and discussion between Indian film stars and rural entrepreneurs, an Australian lady police chief, European business women and entrepreneurs, social movers, lady politicians from many countries, artists, writers, lawyers, musicians, even a princess. A similar eclectic mix of ladies is expected to attend this year.
Spiritual approach is the change agent
The approach is spiritual at the core. That is spiritual and not religious. It flows from the teachings of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, which provide a practical model of essentially spiritual values and practices drawn from the ancient Vedic tradition, common to many great faiths, for integration into a modern 21st century world. These values and practices resonate with individuals regardless of religion and thus are finding increasing acceptance worldwide with all religious groups, whether they are Hindu, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, or Agnostic. The message includes the clear statement:
‘Spirituality is the back bone of human values and much needed in times of radical social change.’
Earlier conferences were extraordinary share participants
Women from previous conferences in India have commented “It is such an extraordinary experience for so many women from so many countries and cultures to come together, to share and celebrate. We have so much in common, so much we can learn from each other, and so much support we can give to each other.” “We feel at home, we feel we belong together. It is incredible to see everyone so celebratory”. “The conference was revitalising, informative, active and challenging.”
In a world struggling to solve age old problems whilst dealing with unprecedented change, this conference shows a model whereby women can come together to work with their particular qualities to lead the way through the turbulence to a new way of living, being and managing our societies.
To register for the conference, visit the official website of the 5th International Women’s Conference.