211. World Peace and the Role of Women II
Book 2: A Model for the Family Ideal and World Peace
Part 1: The True Love Movement and the Role of Women
Chapter 13: World Peace and the Role of Women II
This speech was given at the 10th anniversary celebration of the founding of the Women's Federation for World Peace, held on April 10, 2002 at the Little Angels Performing Arts Center (now the Universal Arts Center) in Seoul, Korea.
Distinguished guests, leaders of women's organizations, and members of the Women's Federation for World Peace:
Today, as I stand here before you, I am filled with many deep emotions. In particular, I feel a deep sense of gratitude to God, who has guided our federation with true love for the ten years that have passed since it was founded. My husband, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, and I jointly founded the Women's Federation for World Peace (WFWP) with the purpose that it would proclaim the arrival of the era of women and function as a pivotal organization for the women's peace movement.
This federation was not founded simply as one among the many women's organizations that already exist. Rather, the first and foremost characteristic of WFWP is that it was founded for the providential purpose of realizing God's ideal world, a world centered on the ideal of true parents.
Moreover, WFWP is not organized to recover women's rights. It is fundamentally different from such women's organizations, which exist chiefly to influence men. Such organizations seek primarily to expand women's rights, promote equality of the sexes and improve working conditions for women. They are, for the most part, external, political and confrontational in nature.
According to Reverend Moon's teachings, women do not exist to confront or struggle against men. Rather, we exist as individual embodiments of truth, representing one side of the two aspects or dual characteristics of the invisible Creator, God. In other words, women represent one half of God's internal and external characteristics, and one half of God's original nature.
According to the Principle, through which God created the universe, all things exist in pairs, as an initiating subject partner and a responsive object partner team. A woman is thus a whole and perfect partner with whom a man can achieve harmonious unity in the ideal of God.
Furthermore, a woman is not made to be a man's assistant or simply an object of his protection. Rather, a woman is an interdependent entity who completes a man by standing in a position that represents half of God. In the ideal of true love, a woman exists as a man's noble partner, as the recipient who can reciprocate his love. In terms of value, man and woman are equal.
A man and woman who are united through the power of original, true love acquire entitlement to the same status. They also share entitlement to participate together and be with each other, whatever the situation or location. Moreover, a man and woman united in true love also share an ideal right of inheritance; they share ownership with each other, for she is his second self just as he is hers.
Thus, a man and woman united in God's true love ideal share fully and totally their rank and position, rights of participation, and rights of possession. Men and women were created to be equal in terms of value when they live in true love.
Naturally then, a man and woman are not born to exist in a relationship of hostility or opposition, in which they covet or attempt to mimic the characteristics and qualities of the other. There is no need for that, because man and woman belong to each other. Their relationship is originally designed to be one in which all their qualities as well as possessions are shared with each other so that both can achieve completion and perfection, and thus together become a whole greater than the sum of the parts.
Women have the important role of bearing children, raising them, and guiding the family as God's representatives, with the uniquely feminine sense of affection and love that God has granted to women. God endowed each woman with this essential feminine nature.
By nurturing the fruits of love and investing in her children's upbringing, a woman connects and extends the traditions and lineage of her family. For this reason, although her external efforts are important, her role as a mother in cultivating character and raising her children to have healthy, wholesome natures is the highest function of womanhood. In fulfilling this role, women truly represent the heart of God.
As the future unfolds, humanity will have no option except to live interdependently in a pluralistic, global society. A culture of peace will be established across the globe. When this happens, the precious role of women who are grounded in the love of God will be recognized as absolutely essential to the family and, hence, to the society, nation and world.
That is because women play a sacred role that is both civic and lineal. We carry the future of humanity in our wombs; we give birth to and nurture the unlimited potential of human beings. If the role of mothers is ignored, where will we find human hope and prospects for the future?
In the worldwide peace movement led by WFWP, women play the central role. Members of WFWP ought to feel proud that the work we are doing across the globe deals with such a unique area and has such providential significance. We also have to be grateful that WFWP can carry out its work under the direct guidance of the True Parents.
During the past ten years, I have been privileged to give talks and keynote addresses in the parliamentary halls of many nations across the globe, from the United Nations headquarters to the United States Congress and Japanese Diet. We have held hundreds of international meetings where I delivered the message of the Women's Federation. Sometimes the audience comprised several hundred people, sometimes ten thousand, and sometimes more than a hundred thousand people.
I have been fortunate to be able to carry out global tours embracing North and South America, Europe, Asia, including Russia and China, Africa and Oceania. During these tours, my message has always been the proclamation of the era of women and our role in bringing about world peace.
We have addressed the serious crises facing modern civilization, including decadence among young people, family breakdown, teenage and single parenthood, AIDS, drug abuse, crime and national instability. Moreover, we have raised the issue of ethics and morality in the family, and shown the need for the establishment of a new value system aligned with God's truth. In short, we have rung the warning bell.
Consequently, inspired and enlightened women motivated from within are leading movements for national reformation and social restoration in each nation across the globe. These movements are creating a foundation of hope throughout the world.
So once again, I would like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate the members of the Women's Federation for World Peace. In more than 180 nations around the world, and particularly in South Korea, Japan and America, you have participated with fervor and accomplished many tangible results for our cause.
Beloved leaders of women everywhere, what are the central direction and activities of the women's peace movement going to be for the coming ten years? Reverend Moon has focused on the year 2012 as the year in which the ideal world of peace, the hope of humanity and God alike, needs to be substantially realized. To that end, he is at this time heading up a global movement for the practice of true love. Likewise, for the Women's Federation for World Peace, the next ten years will be a very important period.
The world of peace is not initiated on the global or even the national level. Peace must first be realized within the individual and the family, because these form the basis for all human organizations and systems. Central issues of world peace essentially depend on the question of how peace can be realized within the individual and the family.
The original ideal of God's creation was the kingdom of heaven on earth and, beyond that, a world in which the ideal of love also embraces the spiritual dimension. Thus, a kingdom of heaven was to be formed in both the spiritual and physical worlds. This ideal was to be achieved by expanding the model of an ideal family to the world level and then to the cosmic level. For this reason, a family of true love is the fundamental unit and basis of an ideal world of peace.
When true parents, a true husband and wife, and true children all attend God and form a true family of peace, and when that family expands to form a clan, nation and world, true world peace will be realized. For this, the role of the mother and wife in creating family peace is absolute and eternal.
Today, immorality and decadence are spreading throughout the world. The family is crumbling under the burden of soaring divorce rates and increasing self-indulgence. In these circumstances, the true family movement and the pure love education that WFWP is promoting worldwide are, in the fundamental sense, movements for peace. They are movements that can save the nation and save the world. They are unique peace movements of the highest dimension driven by the power of God's true love.
I believe that we members of WFWP need to have a special sense of mission in our work. Based on the moral laws and principles of the universe, we are to make our families whole and sound in accordance with the heavenly way of life. We have to point our societies in the right direction and make our nations righteous and strong.
Thus, we need women to participate in all aspects of society, from diplomacy and politics to the economy and legal system reform. Women also have to be active in education and culture, and in sports and the arts, not to mention the diverse activities of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
However, I want to emphasize that before all these things, the highest priority for our activity is the inculcation of a righteous value system, and the true love and true family movement. We need to encourage and foster the practice of living for the sake of others.
Moreover, we women ought to be the vanguard of the movement for unity. It has always been a clear objective of our federation to carry out a number of activities that will aid the reunification of the Korean Peninsula, for example. Women must take the lead in both national and global unity by experiential education based on a true family values system and true love.
War and conflict arise when we attempt, from selfish motives, to acquire land or possessions that belong to others. Conversely, peace is realized when we invest ourselves for the sake of others—in other words, when we practice true love.
For some time now, our federation has invested its heart and soul in developing our service and sharing for neighborhood and community activities. These activities will surely become a precious foundation for peace in the future.
This year, we initiated the 1% Love Share Project to practice true love and help our compatriots in North Korea, particularly women and children. In my view, this campaign exemplifies the spirit with which WFWP was founded. It is a campaign that emphasizes the practice of true love and sharing, and it is being developed in many nations around the world. Transcending religion, race and nationality, it is rising above the established, conflict-centered framework to bring peace in a tangible way.
In recent years, under Reverend Moon's guidance, WFWP has worked hard to build bridges of peace between nations in many parts of the world. An example of this is the creation of Bridge of Peace sisterhood relationships between 320,000 South Korean and Japanese women. Bridge of Peace sisterhood ceremonies between women of different nations are an integral part of many international conferences. They are a simple yet concrete practice for the realization of peace.
In the future, WFWP will expand its active efforts for peace by developing a joint platform embracing many different fields, including education, culture, sports and the arts. This will be achieved through the kind of cooperation that transcends nationality, race, religion and involves different NGOs.
Moreover, bringing together women from the entire world in harmony and cooperation, we will promote volunteer activities based on true love, so that more and more people can receive love expressed in a tangible way.
My dear members of the Women's Federation, in the twenty-first century men and women together will shape world history, cooperating as the driving force for the realization of a world of peace. The central role of women is all the more vital if the unfolding century is to be characterized by family-centered culture and by love and not by power and technology.
It is my fervent hope and expectation that the members of WFWP will take the lead in guiding the movement for restoring true families. That movement is the basis and foundation for the realization of a world of peace.
A sound, healthy family is the school of love and virtue, and enlightened women are the center of the love, peace and service that preserve the family. The starting point of world peace lies with the mothers at the center of such families—families that perfect and bring God's true love to fruition.
We must push ahead in the conviction that no matter how wounded and scarred this world is, it can be healed and cleansed by the substantial work of a federation of women united in the vision of God's true love. If we have that determination and if we make that effort, then God's absolute authority, as well as the blessing and guidance of the entire spiritual realm, will be with us.
Let us all stand up and be counted. Let us complete the building of an ideal world of peace, both on earth and in the spiritual world. In conclusion, let me thank you once again, both our distinguished guests and federation members, for taking the time from your busy schedules to allow us the pleasure of your presence today.