Insights from the field: Podcast explores advances in gender equality in India


Insights from the field: Podcast explores advances in gender equality in India

Counsellor Bhavna Anbarasan shares insights arising from Bahá’í endeavors in the villages in the Indian state of Bihar where a culture of equality is taking root.

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PATNA, India — During a recent visit to the Bahá’í World Centre, Bhavna Anbarasan, member of the Continental Board of Counsellors for Asia, spoke with the Bahá’í World News Service about how Bahá’í community-building endeavors in the villages of Bihar, India, are giving rise to a new culture of equality.

Mrs. Anbarasan explained that the movement toward greater equality in Bihar has gained momentum as growing numbers of families participate in consultative spaces that welcome both women and men to contribute to discussions concerning social betterment.

The consultative spaces are enabling people of all ages to re-examine some long-held perceptions that tend to inhibit women and young girls’ ability to advance in their education or to contribute to decision-making in different spheres of life.

“There are many assumptions and notions that need to be changed, and for that change to happen, we need to understand why they are there in the first place,” said Mrs. Anbarasan.

In these transformative discussions, participants have been probing the root causes of prevailing social issues, guided by spiritual principles. Central to their reflections have been the principles of justice and the oneness of humanity, which have assisted people to transcend physical differences and promote unity in diversity.

Mrs. Anbarasan highlighted the profound impact these conversations are having on fostering individual awareness and prompting a critical examination of personal habits of thought and action.

She described how this process is nurturing deeper introspection among community members, noting that many are now routinely questioning their daily interactions and thoughts in light of spiritual principles, asking themselves: “How am I thinking about this in my own personal life with my family? What questions can I ask that help me to see what is consistent with a principle and what adjustments can I make?”

A key insight permeating the consciousness of families in these dialogues, said Mrs. Anbarasan, is that more and more people are coming to recognize that the soul as a spiritual reality has no gender, encouraging a more inclusive understanding of individual and collective potential.



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