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Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Woman's Place - Respect Begins Early

A woman's place is...(you finish the statement).  

Some quotes concerning a woman's place from the Baha'i writings include...

"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 endeavor will the moral and psychological climate be created in which international peace can emerge."

"Women and men have been and will always be equal in the sight of God."

You can read a wonderful statement titled, "Advancing the Status of Women" HERE.

In regards to education, it is my contention that the advancement of the status of women begins at home.  Is your home a place of respect for all?  Is it a place that respects women?  Is the power of Baha'i consultation utilized or do traditions and cultural expectations overrule this priceless gift?

I have watched as mother's are disrespected by their children at a very early age, while the father is either treated in a similar manner or is the authoritative figure in the family.  Can you hear the stereotypical phrase, "Well, you wait until your father gets home!" I am not recommending that the mother become an authoritarian and practice 'tough love' or some similar method with their children.  What I am asking is for reflection on the boundaries we provide for children.  Does the leeway I give my child disrespect me?  Does it disrespect them in that it teaches them the wrong lesson of the status of women?

I ask you to consider what actions, small ones even, can build a disrespectful framework for the status of women in the eyes, mind, and heart of a child?  Looking forward to your thoughts.