From March 13 to 24, Venerable Yifa led a group of twelve representatives from Woodenfish Foundation to attend the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The primary theme of the conference dealt with “Women’s Economic Empowerment and the Changing World of Work”; and an emerging issue regarding the “Empowerment of Indigenous Women” was an important focus at the conference.

One major goal of the 2017 CSW conference was to promote conversations and provide solutions for women’s empowerment, specifically in the leadership and business arenas. In the past three decades, women’s status in China has been elevated, and women’s employment rate has increased, so how have those changes influenced worldwide development? How do people view women in China from a global perspective? How has religious culture complemented the empowerment of women? At the conference, “China,” “Beijing,” and “women in China” showed up multip...

During the first two weeks of March, Ven. Yifa hosted a public lecture series on Buddhism at the Five College Consortium located in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. She engaged in inspiring discussions with students and scholars at—specifically—Smith College and Hampshire College, two important member colleges in the Consortium dedicated to innovative liberal arts education. The topics ranged from feminism, experiential learning, and environmental conservation to world peace and the rapid development in China.

On February 28, Ven. Yifa was invited by Professor Jay Garfield—director of Smith College’s Logic and Buddhist Studies programs and the Five College Tibetan Studies in India program—to give a guest lecture to his students. Since the majority of the audience have not visited China, Ven. Yifa introduced some recent development the country is undergoing and expressed her confidence in further improvement; she encouraged everyone to reject his or her initial inclinations t...

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Woodenfish Foundation is an organization in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations since 2016