Bahá’í per­spec­tives on GBV

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - FEATURE -

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

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