The United Nations designated 1975 as International Women’s Year; since then, March 8 has been observed as International Women’s Day. The practice of devoting a day to issues pertaining to the rights of women started in 1909, and was political in origin. Observance of the United Nations Day is aimed at raising awareness of the importance of women’s rights–reflecting on the past, celebrating achievements, and working toward effecting change for the advancement of women throughout the world.
The theme of International Women’s Day 2010 is “Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All.” In an address in recognition of this Day, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated: “Gender equality and women’s empowerment are integral to all our goals. …Until women and girls are liberated from poverty and injustice, all our goals–peace, security, sustainable development–stand in jeopardy.”
One of the principles of the Bahá’í Faith is the equality of women and men. The Bahá’í Writings abound with material on this subject, for it is fundamental to the realization of the goal of the unification of the human race. Read about the equality of women and men from a Bahá’í point of view. Refer to A Compilation on Women for excerpts from the Bahá’í Writings organized under headings such as The Bahá’í Concept of Equality, Application of the Principle of Equality to Family Life, and Fostering the Development of Women.
To develop an even deeper understanding of the equality of women and men, read the topic “Advancing the Status of Women” and explore its many related documents. The work of the Bahá’í International Community has resulted in more than seventy statements and reports on this subject, such as “The Role of Religion in Promoting the Advancement of Women” and “The role of men and boys in achieving gender equality.” The optimism felt by Bahá’ís as the peoples of the world move toward gender equality is evident.
For collaborative study of the equality of women and men and other subjects, please call the Bahá’ís of Comox (250.702.3041).