The work of IWP is grounded in three core principles: feminism, social activism and spiritual practice. We enact these guiding principles through:
Consultation and Power Sharing. We believe that the methodology is as important as the goal. In our approach working with participants, we emphasize participation, consultation and shared decision making. We value the sharing of wisdom, information, skills and material resources. With this approach, mutual respect and friendship are developed which supports personal transformation and sustainability in the work.
Respect and Value Diversity. Diversity is one of the core elements for peace and harmony at every level of relationships. By promoting and celebrating diversity of race, ethnicity, spiritualities, genders, sexualities, and belief systems through our work, we can foster inner peace and outer solidarity among participants and their communities.
The Combination of Personal Practice and Social Transformation. Activists often assume there is a necessary separation between personal development/transformation and social activism. We believe the processes are intricately interwoven and one cannot be realized in the absence of the other.
Understanding Structural Violence as a Root Cause of Social Destruction. Our workshops define and explain structural violence as the root cause of social problems faced by humans and the environment. Once communities and marginalized groups become aware that the struggles they face are not self-inflicted, or the result of negative karma or fate, they are able to see the possibility of change, resist and challenge the structures of violence, and work as agents of positive change.
Unlearning Internalized Patriarchy. Community and personal relations often sustain and reinforce notions that hierarchical leadership roles and domination with power are the only options. Women and men must ‘unlearn’ this internationalization, as it acts to divide communities and limits creative change.
Experiential Learning. We integrate learning methods that involve the head, heart, and hands recognizing that people learn through our intellect, our emotions and by building new skills. Many activities in our workshops involve sharing personal experiences to learn from the wisdom of our own experiences. Then we ask participants to ‘step outside’ their experience to examine societal roles and structures that influence and impact our experiences. These activities create opportunities for deep sharing of emotions and feelings which leads to transformation at the heart level.
Small is Beautiful.