Women in Anthroposophy

Through my work at the World Social Initiative Forum, WSIF, I have met inspiring women who strive towards upholding human dignity in service of the world.

In Uganda, gender inequality limits women to be educated, independent and empowered. FFEI+Greenlight Forum addresses this through education, micro-financing and organic/biodynamic farming. Joyce Birungi shares, “We provide trainings on leadership, agriculture and entrepreneurship for women, most especially teenage mothers. Women’s health and sex education are also integrated in our programs.“ GLS FFD head Dr. Annette Massmann adds that men should also be part of the conversation. “It is evident that focusing on women empowerment must also include men. Our partners in Uganda work from a holistic perspective on gender balance through programs that support young men in their individual development.“

Because of AI, human creativity has become an existential question. New York based artist and teacher Laura Summer emphasizes that art is an activity and not a product. “No matter what medium we use, in creation we are stepping beyond the material into the supersensible. It is a powerful force for the good.“ This is also at the heart of her work at Free Columbia, “I encourage people to experience creative processes. To listen to something new. To take risks.”

Joan Sleigh and Guada Olaizola from WSIF hold empathy and inclusion as social questions closest to their hearts. Joan says, “As we become more entangled in our personal desires, we lose sight of the needs and gifts of others, and the world at large. WSIF creates spaces of dialogue so that real encounters can emerge. Just like the LiT Forums, we experience authentic leadership emerging out of recognizing the other.“ Guada adds, “How to awaken respect and genuine interest for the other are present questions in me. This led us to organize our October Forum in Argentina with the theme Interculturality in Education in collaboration with ISFDPM and the Pedagogical Section at the Goetheanum.“

“We look into the world and see it so bleak,“ shares Maaianne of Kufunda Village. Looking at her community in Zimbabwe, she changes this dystopic perspective. “Extraordinary transformation can be achieved with vision, faith and belief that we can. The micro shifts are the work. That means, acknowledging that each one of us has a place and can contribute.“

Show up, participate and listen—these are the lessons I have learned from these women. And now more than ever, we need stories such as these to inspire us. To give us courage and hope. To awaken us to see the other, act in the world and become more human.

Image Joyce Birungi, Photo: Annette Massmann

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