The tragic incident that resulted in the loss of life and serious injuries for many people on Friday evening, at the Clutha Vaults have been in my thoughts this weekend. Yesterday, I attended a gathering to promote women's role in peacemaking organised by the Glasgow Peace Federation. At the beginning of event, there was a minute's silence for the victims, their families and the staff from the emergency services involved in the rescue effort.
Thereafter, I made a contribution by sharing experiences of initiatives which support and enable women to become more involved in peacemaking in the world. There are many barriers to women participating in peacemaking but access to women's groups to build confidence and leadership skills can help overcome obstacles.
As a student, I gained training and advice from Student Community Action to support my participation in activities to tackle injustice. Later on, it was the trade union movement and training offered at my workplace that made a difference. I encouraged women to seek out support and training through Universities, their workplaces, and trade unions.
Reflecting on world events, I think the Iraq War has had a significant impact on my life and those of many women who struggle for peace. The suffering brought about by the bombing of Iraqi people was shocking and this led to my decision to channel my energies into activism with the Scottish Green Party. Now, I am also involved in efforts to eradicate violence and support peace as part of several campaign groups including Scottish CND.
The event held by the Glasgow Peace Federation renewed my focus on supporting peace. As part of the programme, I made a pledge to help build a bridge of peace and reconciliation within my family, the community, society and between nations.
At the end of the event, I was presented with a bunch of flowers as a thank you gift. My thoughts went to the people at the site of the Clutha Vaults Tragedy. I made my way there to place my flowers alongside many other floral bouquets, offering my condolences to the people affected.
This article originally appeared on the Glasgow Greens website.