“It is well established in history that where woman has not participated in human affairs,” He told one audience, “the outcomes have never attained a state of completion and perfection.”
This episode of Ambassador to Humanity explores how Abdu’l-Baha consistently promoted the equality of the sexes as one of the fundamental teachings of the Baha’i Faith. In his writings, his father Baha’u’llah had unequivocally proclaimed the equality of women and men, and Abdu’l-Baha set out to describe the many implications of that equality in his own talks and correspondence.
Famously, Abdu’l-Baha likened men and women to the two wings of a bird. “Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly,” he said. “Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible.” He also broke new ground by entrusting tasks to women in predominately male spheres of activity, enabling them to bring their capacities and skills to a wide range of endeavors.
Abdu’l-Baha’s views on gender equality made front page news in North America and Europe. He inspired gatherings of campaigners for women’s suffrage, and thousands more who were committed to social justice. Although women would not get the vote in the United States for almost another decade after Abdu’l-Baha’s visit – and not for another 16 years in Britain – Abdu’l-Baha inspired countless women on their march to equality. His dedication to, and insights into, this core Baha’i principle continue to inspire the actions of millions of his admirers today.
Narrated by Parisa Fitz-Henley and Rainn Wilson, with contributions from Ann Boyles, Moojan Momen, and Wendi Momen
Featuring the voices of Justin Baldoni, Beverley Evans Matthews, Naim Rastani, Maia Reneau, and Stéphane Zahrai
Assistant Editor: Noah Matthews
Executive producers include Rainn Wilson, Shahin Sobhani, Steve Sarowitz, Maia Reneau, and Ford Bowers for Spring Green Media, in collaboration with 239Days.com and BahaiTeachings.org.
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