Members of EWFN were active in supporting the Religions for Peace conference, Women, Faith and Diplomacy held in Lindau in October 2020. Members were also represented at COP26 held in Glasgow in November 2021.
Members of EWFN are leading the Religions for Peace Europe working group on Environmental Concern, developing contributions in collaboration with members across Religions for Peace Europe.
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Rkia Tiar – President EWFN
Ms. Rkia Tiar has been a member of RfP Europe and the European Women of Faith Network since 2017 and has distinguished herself with her unfailing commitment to community service and the improvement of social conditions. Working in the health sector as a dedicated hospital professional, Rkia has managed to combine her professional responsibilities and humanitarian passions.
Over the years, Rkia has enriched her work by collaborating with various non-profits, making significant contributions through her expertise and empathy. Her dedication also shines through the multiple activities and trainings in which she has initiated and participated, always with the aim of promoting education and common well-being.
Determined to make a difference in society, Rkia embodies the values of solidarity and cooperation that are at the core of the RfP Europe and the EWFN.
An educator, a pastor and an interfaith expert, Heidi Rautionmaa gives trainings on inter worldview issues to teachers, communities and youth. She has almost 25 years of experience in organizing various interfaith activities in Finland and internationally. The latest project is focused on eliminating violence against women. Due to her interfaith work she has attended UNAOC high level Forums four times. Currently, Heidi is a KAICIID Fellow, a board member of European Network on Religion & Belief and a committee member of Religions for Peace European Women of Faith Network. She has also served several years as an ambassador of the Parliament of World’s Religions and as a Global Council Trustee of United Religions Initiative. She is chair of Religions for Peace Women of Faith Network in Finland and the NGO Faiths Without Borders.
Heidi has edited three books and co-edited one publication. At this moment, she is training teachers about peace education through the University of Helsinki Centre for Educational Assessment. Alongside her interfaith work Heidi is a Doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, a teacher in Health Education, a vocational Guidance Counsellor and a journalist.
Ravinder Kaur Nijjar – Chair, UK Women of Faith Network
Ravinder Kaur Nijjar is the Chair of Religions for Peace UK Women of Faith Network, Sikh Representative on the Scottish Religious Leaders Forum, Vice-Chair, Religions for Peace UK. For over 35 years she has initiated many projects to promote interfaith dialogue, respect, and peace between communities nationally and internationally. As Co-Chair from 2006-2014, Ravinder Kaur was a founding member of Religions for Peace European Women of Faith Network, developing women of faith networks across Europe. She is a former member of the International Women’s Coordinating Committee for the Global Women of Faith Network and served from 2000-2015 on the Executive Committee of the Interfaith Network for the UK, former Chair of Scottish Interfaith Council. As Chair, she initiated Inter Faith Week in Scotland and was instrumental in establishing Inter Faith week in England and Wales in 2009. She is also the honorary Sikh Chaplain at Glasgow University.
Ravinder is also an experienced educationalist who taught in the primary and secondary sector for over thirty years and has a B Ed. (Hons) degree (London University), ATQ Primary Qualification (Strathclyde University) and a post-graduate Diploma in Religious Education from the University of Glasgow.
Ravinder has received a number of awards over the years for her commitment to interfaith dialogue, including most recently the Religions for Peace Lifetime Service Award for Multi-Religious Peacebuilding (2023), and previously the: Lifetime Achievement Award from Scottish Asian Women’s Association (2013), Services to Charity Award from ScottishSikh Council (2010), ‘Services to Faith’ Award from Sikhs in Scotland (2009), Scottish Family Values Award, Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (Scotland) (2008), Sikh Nari Manch Award for services to women and Sikh community (1999).
Maria Augusta Favali
Maria was born in Castelnovo di Sotto, Italy and holds a PhD in Physics, with a specialization in Biophysics from the University of Parma. She is a Professor of Botany at the Universities of Padua and Parma and has conducted research on interactions at the cellular level between host plants and parasitic-pathogens (Viruses, Bacteria, Phytoplasmas, Fungi), as well as the effects of biotic and abiotic stresses on algae, lichens and plants of considerable economic importance such as rice, corn and cereals. Maria has also been a visiting Professor at numerous foreign universities. She has over 200 publications in scientific journals and has co-authored a number of scientific texts. She is a member of the Philippines Phytopathological Society and is the former head of the Plant Biology Section and Botanical Garden of the University of Parma.
Maria is a former member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Italy and of the Auxiliary Body for the protection of the Baha’i Faith in Northern Italy. She holds a Master in Interreligious and Intercultural Mediation and Communication, obtained at the Suor Orsola Benincasa University of Naples, as well as a Master in Intercultural and Interreligious Mediation, at the Salesian Pontifical University, Rome.
Maria sits on the Board of Religions for Peace Europe and is the Honorary President of Religions for Peace Italy.