83. Learning and Practicing Unity in Diversity in the Family.
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Equality of Roles is necessary to attain the Peaceful Oneness of Humanity.
"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." ---`Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'u'llah and the New Era, 1976 U.S. edition, p.156.
"...man is more inclined to war than woman..." --`Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p 278 (Vol II)
Equality does not mean sameness. Men and women have unique qualities that are different but complementary.
The family unit is the training ground of the world. Until we learn to fully develop and harmonise these qualities, progress will be limited.
Men have a special responsibility. Husbands must be the `helpmeets' of wives, a role defined in Collins Dictionary as "a less common word for helpmate", "a companion and helper, esp. a wife". This definition amply demonstrates how entrenched is the attitude that the role of wives is to support their husbands, and not vice versa.
Men can work toward the goal of equality on many sides - in their personal attitudes, in their marriages, in Baha'i community life and in the larger sphere of human society as they exert an educative influence within their occupations, and in any clubs, sporting or cultural groups to which they may belong.
"In brief, the assumption of superiority by man will continue to be depressing to the ambition of woman, as if her attainment to equality was creationally impossible; women's aspiration toward advancement will be checked by it, and she will gradually become hopeless. On the contrary, we must declare that her capacity is equal, even greater than man's. This will inspire her with hope and ambition, and her susceptibilities for advancement will continually increase. She must not be told and taught that she is weaker and inferior in capacity and qualification."---'Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace,1982 U.S. edition, p.76
"When men own the equality of women there will be no need for them to struggle for their rights! "---'Abdu'l-Baha Paris Talks.
"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."---'Abdu'l-Baha Baha'u'llah and the New Era, 1976 U.S. edition, p.156
"...Therefore, strive to show in the human world that women are most capable and efficient, that their hearts are more tender and susceptible than the hearts of men, that they are more philanthropic and responsive toward the needy and suffering, that they are inflexibly opposed to war and are lovers of peace. Strive that the ideal of international peace may become realized through the efforts of womankind, for man is more inclined to war than woman, and a real evidence of woman’s superiority will be her service and efficiency in the establishment of universal peace." ---–'Abdu'l-Baha, 95 – 26 August 1912 Talk at Franklin Square House Boston, Massachusetts Notes by Edna McKinney.
"The Baha'i Writings clearly delineate those factors which are the foundation of equality. They include equality of rights, privileges, development, opportunities, advancement, education, prerogatives, qualification, and power - through the right to vote, and through equal opportunity for participation and control in human government, law, and all the administrative branches of politics; in brief, that women should have the same arena of activity as men. Until the reality of equality between men and women is fully established and attained, the highest social development of mankind is not possible. To accept and observe a distinction which God has not intended in creation is ignorance and superstition. The fact which is to be considered, however, is that woman, having formerly been deprived, must now be allowed equal opportunities with man for education and training. There must be no difference in their education. Until the reality of equality between man and woman is fully established and attained, the highest social development of mankind is not possible. Even granted that woman is inferior to man in some degree of capacity or accomplishment, this or any other distinction would continue to be productive of discord and trouble. The only remedy is education, opportunity; for equality means equal qualification..." --'Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p 278 (Vol II).
"And let it be known once more that until woman and man recognise and realise equality, social and political progress here or anywhere will not be possible."---'Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, 1982 U.S. edition, pp. 76-77