Bahá’í perspectives on GBV
the success of efforts to eradicate violence against women.
Ending such violence requires overcoming gender prejudice.
Recognition of our oneness, the oneness of human race, is the key to overcoming our prejudices — whether gender-based, racial or religious — that frequently lead to discrimination and violence.
“The principle of the oneness of humankind” in the Bahá’í view “lies at the heart of the exhortation that we should treat others as we ourselves would wish to be treated.
“To establish justice, peace and order in an interdependent world, this principle must guide all interactions, including those between men and women. If the treatment of women were scrutinised in the light of this ethical standard, we would doubtless move beyond many traditional, religious and cultural practices.”
In search for solutions, it is essential to deal not only with the outward and legal aspects of the problem, but also with the inward dimension that concern the cultural, moral, and religious spheres of life.
Our efforts to combat gender violence should start by educating children both in school and at home with values that promote equality and justice. It is the responsibility of individuals and institutions to make sure that the younger generation is raised free from prejudice against women and girls.
According to a statement of the Bahá’í International Community, violence prevention strategies must include “cultivating in them (children) a sense of dignity as well as a responsibility for the well-being of their family, community, and the world”.
Achieving gender equality requires a shift in the mindset, values, outlook and conduct of both men and women.
For such a shift to be effective, it needs to take into account that individuals have