This speech by Layli Miller-Muro, the executive director of the Tahirih Justice Center, portrays the problems of women around the world. The reality is that women and men are equal in spiritual and mental capacities--and this reality is not accurately represented in the cultures of the world. This fundamental reality is distorted by cultures that value men over women, that educate men before women, that disregard women completely in some cases and treat them as property. If we want world peace, we must work for the full equality of women.
The Universal House of Justice wrote in 1985:
"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 denial can be justified. Only as women are welcomed into full partnership in all fields of human endeavour will the moral and psychological climate be created in which international peace can emerge."
The Baha'i Writings say:
"And among the teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh is the equality of women and men. The world of humanity has two wings -- one is women and the other men. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible. Not until the world of women becomes equal to the world of men in the acquisition of virtues and perfections, can success and prosperity be attained as they ought to be." -- (Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 288)
I was listening to a talk somewhere--I don't remember the source--a women was saying, "Boys, if you don't understand the equality of women and men, ask your mother; she'll explain it to you!"
Thanks for listening,