promoting women around the world


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North Carolina, USA
Here's a worthy thread.... And here's a story to kick it off....

""I have come with a message of peace. The people want peace. I am asking you to make peace out of this process," Norah Anek, Joseph Kony's mother, while meeting him in the Sudan on Sunday.

"Using the principle of justice and equity, it is now time to bring an end to the social injustice levelled at women," state for relief minister Musa Ecweru, while addressing Bahai members on the day of commemorating Human Rights on December 10...."

Wasn't it mentioned in another thread that Baha'i women don't have the same inheritance rights as Baha'i men under the faith??
Thanks for posting that material about promoting women!

And Brian.. Good to read your post!

The laws on inheritance that you've probably have heard about are found in the Kitab-i-Aqdas and apply to a future Baha'i society for people who die intestate...people who don't leave a will.

Leaving a Will is an obligation for Baha'is and we are quite free to divide our estates as we see fit and for the requirements we think is best...

The laws you refer to apply to Baha'is who do not leave a Will.

This is tremedous problem in modern societies and absorbs a great deal of court time and expense to families today when there is an estate to divide so in the future these laws would be applied to Baha'is.

The variation of inheritance also I think applies to most societies where males make most of the money and are most involved in financial matters....

As I mentioned already these laws have not been implemented as yet and when the time is right and given the circumstances the Universal House of Justice will provide the proper implentation.

- Art
more examples of endevors Baha'is have undertaken to advance the conditions and give voice to women... These are among the practical expressions of endevors Baha'is seek to be engaged in.

The Bahá'í-inspired Tahirih Justice Center and the Barli Vocational Institute for Rural Women in India. Layli Miller-Muro founded the Tahirih Justice Center in 1997 following a well-publicized asylum case in which she was involved as a student attorney. Layli later co-wrote a book with the client she had aided and used her portion of the proceeds for the initial funding of Tahirih. As of 2003, the organization had assisted more than 4,000 women and children fleeing from a wide variety of abuses. The Barli Vocational Institute for Rural Women was founded in 1985 in India and now offers a six-month program for tribal women at its facilities in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Through June 1996, a total of 769 rural tribal women have been trained at the Institute the women came from 119 villages, and after returning home to their cities or villages 45% of them established small businesses, 62% are functionally literate or semi-literate (which has motivated people to send their children to school), 42% have started growing vegetables, 97% are using safe drinking water, all the former trainees and many of their male relatives have given up drinking alcohol, and caste prejudices have been eliminated.
Wasn't it mentioned in another thread that Baha'i women don't have the same inheritance rights as Baha'i men under the faith??

It seems that is not the only circumstance women will not get equal treatment in Baha'i scriptures?

In Gods eyes he measures us on moral grounds, in this sense we are equal.
Postmaster my friend!

Thanks for your post. Have you been reading the Baha'i Writings lately?

Here are some quotes about the topic:

In Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha (Haifa: Baha'i World Centre, 1982), pp. 79-80, the Master affirms that both women and men are created in the image of God. He states:

" the sight of Baha, women are accounted the same as men, and God hath created all humankind in His own image, and after His own likeness. That is, men and women alike are the revealers of His names and attributes, and from the spiritual viewpoint there is no difference between them. Whosoever draweth nearer to God, that one is the most favoured, whether man or woman...."

Further, in one of His Tablets, 'Abdu'l-Baha indicates that "the spirit and the world of the spirit" are neither male nor female:

"Know thou that the distinction between male and female is an exigency of the physical world and hath no connection with the spirit..."

And note the following:

"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 ascendency. Hence the new age will be an age less masculine and more permeated with the feminine ideals, or, to speak more exactly, will be an age in which the masculine and feminine elements of civilization will be more evenly balanced."

(From a talk, cited in Baha'u'llah and the New Era, 5th rev. ed. (Wilmette: Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1987), p. 149)
Wasn't it mentioned in another thread that Baha'i women don't have the same inheritance rights as Baha'i men under the faith??

It depends.

"This verse of the Aqdas introduces a lengthy passage in which Bahá’u’lláh elaborates the Bahá’í law of inheritance. In reading this passage one should bear in mind that the law is formulated with the presumption that the deceased is a man; its provisions apply, mutatis mutandis, when the deceased is a woman."
-Kitab-I-Aqdas page 182-183

The writing of a will is encouraged in the Bahai Faith, which could override much of the inheritance law. One might even say some of the inheritance law encourages the writing of a will.
It seems that is not the only circumstance women will not get equal treatment in Baha'i scriptures?

In Gods eyes he measures us on moral grounds, in this sense we are equal.

Rather not the thrust of the thread - despite the fact that numbers of Baha'is are engaged in promoting the interests and skills in larger and larger numbers of women, not just Baha'i women, everyone seems to be focusing on some supposed exception to some norm or other. But still the lives of those women are improving.

But since the squeeky wheel get's the grease....

As an elaboration - note that absolute equality voids the diversity of the real capabilities of individuals. Even as a group there are differences that simply must be acknowledged and treasured, and yes even prioritized.

Let's consider birthing. Both men and women have an absolute unique side of the experience. Women cannot experience what men experience of birthing nor can men experience what women experience. I'm not being flippant. Men stand aside, essentially powerless to really do anything about it. Women participate intimately, essentially enabled by it. Even women who help other women give birth cannot feel it like a man would. Even a woman who cannot give birth helping women give birth isn't the same.

So both sides have real experiences, uniquely felt.

But of the two which really is the more important? Should we have doctors in delivery room waiting areas to take care of men while the women give birth or doctors in the delivery room?

So if this is acceptible, then it is clear that even though women and men are equal they are not the same and as an inherent part of their existence as different beings they must differ to eachother in respect of their differences. I have reviewed some biological issues but their are other differences too. Studies show women and men differ in language use, in some use/sensitivity in some senses, and there has been some work in steps in moral development/achievement documented, and there are surely more. None of these are about right/wrong or better/worse as beings. And far too much history has been about the oppression of women and the derangement of character in men that results too. But it is over-reacting to this history to suppose that women are just different men, or just like men.

Now the fact that the Baha'i scriptures deal with women differently than men in various cases (sometimes prefering, while other times differing) comes into play. The temptation is to think any difference in treatment must call out all those old patterns of oppression.

Part of what my posts above relate is that these old patterns of oppression are precisely what the Baha'is are struggling against, out of our own scriptural guidance. That women are excused from fasting during their periods, that men are supposed to inform their wives when they intend to return from a trip, that women are not allowed on the House of Justice but can be Continental Counselors (and have been Hands of the Cause of God) and thus convery more personal authority than being members of the House of Justice.... these are not extensions of the patterns of oppressions of the past. They are from a consistent if undefined point of view. Someday more will be known about this point of view. Apparently it's an excercise for the reader.
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