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Equality of Women and Men: Issues of the 21 st Century Sylvia Kaye University of Botswana.

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Presentation on theme: "Equality of Women and Men: Issues of the 21 st Century Sylvia Kaye University of Botswana."— Presentation transcript:

1 Equality of Women and Men: Issues of the 21 st Century Sylvia Kaye University of Botswana

2 Overview Assumption that Women and Men are equal in capacity Equality and the concept of Diversity Changes of Attitude and social structures needed Review of the Past Century Examination of Characteristics of Women and Men – Contribution of Women towards World Peace Benefits

3 A New Concept of Civilisation Civilisation is essentially spiritual in nature Humanity is evolving to the unity of all people Assumes the gradual changes of practices and attitudes Profoundly challenges humanity in every way

4 Bahá’í Writings: “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 practices. 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.”

5 Equality of Men and Women Bahá’í Teachings: Men and Women are compared to two wings of a bird Education of women is necessary Underlying purpose is unity, not polarisation Sight of God, no differences exist Differences are of function, not capacities When equality of men and women is realised, foundations of war will be destroyed

6 Paradigm Shift: Intellectual Beliefs, Attitudes, Ways of Thinking Emotional Prejudices, Reactions, Feelings, Resistance to Change Consciousness Morality and Ethical Issues, costs of prejudices to Society and Individuals Spiritual Humanity is One Civilisation is a Spiritual Process Laying the Foundation for a united, Global Society

7 Inequalities of the Past Nearly all Cultures, all countries Religions, Societies, Social Institutions Not specifically forbidden by God

8 Century of Light In the ShadowIn the Light Unimaginable horrors of war Ethnic hatreds Ascendancy of the baser side of humanity Leadership gown awry World-wide and regional Conflicts Brilliance of light shows the reality Humanity experienced shame and horror at its actions Re-examined old beliefs: is humanity limited to certain kinds of behaviour? Implications to a global society?

9 Towards Partnership Shared responsibilities Balance of Qualities Balance of Roles Benefits of Consultation Establishment of Peace – qualities of women as peacemakers

10 Women as Peacemakers in Africa UN Study, 1998, African Women’s Report Women more involved in sustainable peace-making efforts Post-conflict settings Unlocking potential of women to contribute towards peace

11 Resistances to change Gender as a social construct Gender defines us as humans Social and community pressures Make issue of equality of women and men only a women’s issue Perpetuate our cultures, roles and definitions of male/female

12 Changes Benefits: Eliminates the ugliness of Prejudice Creates a true partnership Allows all to act justly and fairly, justice is necessary for peace Teaches children that equality is a reality Allows for the appreciation of the beauty of all humanity No longer have to exalt ourselves over others Better educated children Freedom for women to develop

13 How to effect change Education Social Examples in the home Religious Political

14 Beginning of a new History History of the Human Race Advancement of a new civilisation

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