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The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.
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Gender Equality: Not Just a Women’s Issue, but a Human Issue

PRESENTED BY Justine Finn | Mar 8, 2017

Justine Finn—the founder and director of Relation-Shift, which works to address gender and sexual violence against middle- and high-school aged youth—talks about addressing and recognizing destructive gender biases in the real world. Even now, rigid gender roles hold back women—but they also hold back men. So how do we get to gender equality? The Baha’i teachings say that “The world of humanity is possessed of two wings, the male and the female. So long as these two wings are not equivalent in strength, the bird will not fly.” If we celebrate our shared humanity, we can fly.

Listen to the podcast on SoundCloud.

For over ten years, Justine has worked to advance the equality of women and men, focusing on creating inclusive workplace and school cultures. She’s worked with such organizations as the Tahirih Justice Center, a national nonprofit that protects immigrant women and girls fleeing violence, and...



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  • Mar 9, 2017
    Hi, Khan, and thanks for your comment. Here's an excerpt from a letter from the Universal House of Justice: "As to the Baha'i view of transsexuality and sex-change operations, the extract from a letter dated 31 August 1983...:
    The House of Justice has not found any text in the Baha'i writings which deals explicitly with the subjects of transsexuality or surgical operations carried out to change sex or to establish a single sex. It has decided that changes of sex or attempts to change sex should, at the present time, be considered medical questions on which advice and guidance ...should be sought from experts in that field.
  • Khan Shah
    Mar 9, 2017
    Hello. I am transgender and have been looking into the Bahaí religion for several months now - almost a year. I know that there is gender equality, but how do Bahai people see transgender people like me? I don't want to be part of a religioug group who hates me for existing... (If that makes sense.)
    • Jessie Lane
      Mar 12, 2017
      The Universal House of Justice has stated that it is a legitimate phenomenon and is to be dealt with through consultation with competent physicians (and, i'm assuming, therapists and other health professionals). Therefore, it is my individual understanding that if an individual is transgender then there is absolutely no legitimate barrier to them being treated as their true/chosen gender within the Baha'i community. That said, many Baha'i communities are still young and vary widely in their level of maturity. You may find communities or individuals that are still prejudiced by their culture's beliefs about transgender people. Just use ...caution, but I'm hopeful that you will be accepted without reservation.
    • Veronica Borchi
      Mar 9, 2017
      We are humanity , and all are part of humanity.
      The Baha'i Faith is primarily a Faith not a religion. Though it's light is of true religion that is the message of Baha'u'llah.
      It's teachings are it's foundation. Your closeness and acceptance is personal. With deep understanding an open heart, you will find the answers you seek, and not be deterred from your spiritual quest. Though it's way is hard and steep for all.
      It's clear we live in a very imbalanced time where everything is out of sink. We all have our burdens and trials.
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