26/11/2021 0 Comments
The United Nations reports that violence against women is the most extreme form of discrimination in the world.
A few days ago on 25th November was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. If you’re a man, the Baha’i teachings ask you to never use force against a woman or a girl:
For a man to use force to impose his will on a woman is a serious transgression of the Baha’i Teachings. – The Universal House of Justice, 24 January 1993, Violence Against Women, Sexual Abuse.
This clear admonition, from the Universal House of Justice, the democratically-elected international body that governs the global Baha’i community, is not a recent invention for Baha’is. Instead, it has its roots in the original gender equity teachings of Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith:
Women and men have been and will always be equal in the sight of God. The Dawning-Place of the Light of God sheddeth its radiance upon all with the same effulgence …
For this year, the United Nations has declared that The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women would initiate 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, a worldwide campaign that aims to raise public awareness and mobilize people everywhere to bring about change. Those 16 days go from November 25th to December 10th, which is Human Rights Day. The theme of that 16-day campaign for 2021 is “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”
We can dramatically reduce the violence, assaults, injuries and trauma women and girls suffer if we focus on the issues and work to advance the Baha’i ideal of gender equality.
Research shows—and the Baha’i teachings advocate—that achieving gender equality helps in preventing conflict and reducing violence:
… the principle of the oneness of mankind is described in the Baha’i Writings as the pivot round which all the Teachings of Baha’u’llah revolve. It has widespread implications which affect and remold all dimensions of human activity. It calls for a fundamental change in the manner in which people relate to each other, and the eradication of those age-old practices which deny the intrinsic human right of every individual to be treated with consideration and respect. …
Baha’is believe that aggression and the use of force against women must be eliminated, and that men must learn to replace that kind of barbaric physical control and dominance with cooperation and consultation:
The world in the past has been ruled by force, and man has dominated over woman by reason of his more forceful and aggressive qualities both of body and mind. But the balance is already shifting; force is losing its dominance, and mental alertness, intuition, and the spiritual qualities of love and service, in which woman is strong, are gaining ascendancy. – Abdu’l-Baha
Many Baha’is all over the world are working hard to help humanity make this essential and much-needed change in gender relations.
For the next 16 days, people all over the world will work together to reduce violence, sexual assaults and discrimination against the female half of humanity.
Will you help?
Bahá’ís of Botswana
Bahá’í communities are working together with their neighbours and friends to promote and contribute to the well-being and progress of society. In urban centres and rural villages, in homes and schools, citizens of all backgrounds, classes and ages are participating in a dynamic pattern of life, taking part in activities which are, at once, spiritual, social and educational.