deeds, not words, be your adorning.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Prophet-Founder of the Bahá'í Faith
THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN
Bahá'í teachings explicitly and unequivocally state that
women and men are equals. They have always been equal in the sight
of God, and now is the time for them to be equal in the sight of humankind.
The Bahá'ís promote the advancement of women and equal opportunity
for all people.
The following quotes illustrate the Bahá'í perspective on gender equality and its importance:
"Women and men have been and always will be equal in the sight of God." -- Bahá'u'lláh
"The emancipation of women, the achievement of full equality between the sexes, is one of the most important though less acknowledged prerequisites of peace. The denial of such equality perpetrates an injustice against one-half of the world's population and promotes in men harmful attitudes and habits that are carried from the family to the workplace, to political life, and ultimately to international relations. There are no grounds, moral, practical, or biological, upon which such a denial can be justified. Only as women are welcomed into full partnership in all fields of human endeavor will the moral and psychological climate be created in which international peace can emerge." -- The Universal House of Justice
"Universal acknowledgment of the equality of men and women is fundamental to peace and the survival of humanity. Implementation of the principle of equality challenges traditional practices, necessitates a reexamination of the long-held assumptions underlying all human relationships from the family to society at large, and even demands a reconsideration of the concept of individual identity. Because it is so interwoven with all other facets of life, the practice of the equality of the sexes impinges on all human beings -- women and men alike." -- Janet & Peter Khan in The Advancement of Women: A Bahá'í Perspective
the most important realization today is that humankind is one. From
this belief stems the recognition that we are "all born free and equal
in dignity and rights," are "endowed with reason and conscience," and should
"act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood" -- as stated in the
first Article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Bahá'í International Community is dedicated to human rights. The Bahá'í Writings state:
"That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race. The Great Being saith: Blessed and happy is he that ariseth to promote the best interests of the peoples and kindreds of the earth. In another passage He hath proclaimed: It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens." -- Bahá'u'lláh
"Bahá'u'lláh teaches that an equal standard of human rights must be recognised and adopted. In the estimation of God all men are equal..." -- 'Abdu'l-Bahá
"Though loyal to their respective governments, though imbued with the love of their own country, and anxious to promote, at all times, its best interests, the followers of the Bahá'í Faith, nevertheless, viewing mankind as one entity, and profoundly attached to its vital interests, will not hesitate to subordinate every particular interest, be it personal, regional or national, to the overriding interests of the generality of mankind, knowing full well that in a world of interdependent peoples and nations the advantage of the part is best to be reached by the advantage of the whole, and that no lasting results can be achieved by any of the component parts if the general interests of the entity are neglected." -- Shoghi Effendi
RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION IN IRAN
Throughout the last century and a half, the Bahá'ís of Iran have been persecuted for their religious beliefs. Despite the fact that they are committed to non-violence, tolerance and loyalty to government, they have been tortured, imprisoned, subjected to mob violence, and executed by various elements of Iranian society -- ranging from local clergy and their uneducated followers to government agents representing the highest levels of authority in that country. The official American Bahá'í community website offers more related history and details: click HERE to read more.
While Bahá'ís believe that material progress is desirable, they recognize that such progress should be accompanied by spiritual growth -- both individual and collective. The Bahá'í community has made a number of efforts throughout the world to develop programs that will promote both the material and spiritual progress of not only members of the Bahá'í Faith, but also of the wider communities in which Bahá'ís live. An excellent article on Bahá'í efforts in moral development and education: click HERE to read more.
The Bahá'í vision for the future includes the creation of a peaceful global society that fosters both individual and collective well-being. Bahá'í efforts in the field of social and economic development generally take the form of grassroots initiatives and are designed to engaged and benefit all the members of a community -- and not just the Bahá'ís! In a very real sense, social and economic development activities are an expression of faith in action. An excellent article on Bahá'í socio-economic development programs and the unique Bahá'í approach to development: click HERE to read more.
|© copyright 2003 by the Bahá'í Club of Columbia University|