The conference, taking place in Bari, Italy, from today to 23rd October about “Women as peace agents for a culture of acceptance and dialogue”, will bring together over 120 women from 40 countries across the world, “and especially from the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries, such as Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Arab Emirates, Egypt and Morocco”. It is Maria Giovanna Ruggeri, president of Wucwo (World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations), that told SIR about the event that took to Bari an international all-women meeting. The venue is Hotel Park Elizabeth at Mariotto, and the sponsors are Wucwo and Ifca (International Forum of Catholic Action), in partnership with Catholic Action of the diocese of Bari and the Regional Delegation of Apulia. Ruggeri explains: “There has always been a focus on Middle Eastern countries, especially on women from such areas, since I started working at Wucwo”. What will the event involve? “First and foremost, supporting these populations, especially the women who every day have to work hard for reconciliation and cohabitation. For us, support – the president explains – means accepting, listening, sharing, sympathising”. Secondly, “direct experience of reality through these women, who are the witnesses of the challenges that run through the Middle East and the Mediterranean and that involve Europe and the whole world”.