Advancement of Women
Gender Equality is Essential to Progress
Peace is only possible, according to Baha'i teachings, once women have been accorded full participation across all fields of human endeavor. Until such gender equality becomes reality, Baha'is believe a climate in which international peace will emerge cannot be fully realized.
Inequality between the sexes not only limits women’s opportunities, but also men’s advancement. According to Baha'i texts, as long as women are prevented from reaching their highest potential, “so long will men be unable to achieve the greatness which might be theirs."
Because Baha'i communities view the advancement of women as an essential and urgent prerequisite to human progress, both men and women are working for gender equality.
For more than a century, the Baha'is of the United States have engaged with civil society partners, government agencies and the public to advance the status of women.
Representatives of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States collaborate with national and international coalitions—including many interfaith and human rights groups—to advocate for policies in the U.S. and at the United Nations that promote gender equality. Some examples include the following initiatives:
Addressing Violence Against Women
Violence against women and girls is a global problem and a practice that Bahá’í institutions condemn. We are working at national and international levels to address these human rights violations.
Promoting Women’s Human Rights
Assuring women’s rights within political, economic, and social and family life is critical to the progress of civilization. The Bahá’í community has actively supported U.N. legislation to achieve this goal, such as the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
Educating the Girl Child
The Bahá’í writings place special emphasis on the importance of educating the girl child. In addition to educational initiatives in local communities, we support advocacy work related to implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
- Ghodsieh Ashraf: One of the First Iranian Women to Pursue Higher Education in the West
- Honor American Baha’i women this Women’s History Month
- Lakshmi Tayyebi: I can already see glimpses of paradise on earth
- Tahirih: Tribute to a Baha’i heroine on Women’s Equality Day
- Women’s retreat uses music, art, dance to nourish souls
Teenage girls share their stories at a United Nations forum.
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Women and men have been and will always be equal in the sight of God.— The Baha'i Writings
…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.”— The Baha'i Writings
The rational soul has no sex, and whatever social inequities may have been dictated by the survival requirements of the past, they clearly cannot be justified at a time when humanity stands at the threshold of maturity.'The Prosperity of Humankind,' Baha'i International Community