Gender Equality Now

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This article was first Published on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at – :

A peace maker constantly seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence. His or Her words and actions do not make things worse, but bring some sense and understanding to the situation. God wants us to live in peace and harmony with his creation; indeed that is the purpose religion. – Mike Ghouse

Special issue: International Women’s day 20 Articles from around the World

Mike Ghouse, March 8, 2008

The great poet Philosopher Sir Mohammad Iqbal had said “Wajood-e-zan say hai kayanaat may khushboo” in his beautiful Poetry in Urdu. The essence of which is presence of a woman makes the universe beautiful and complete and vice verse.

Men and women are each others protectors, saviors and serve each other in living a purposeful life. One is incomplete without the other, adds the Qur’aan, “Men and Women are each others garments”. Just as the garments shield one from the cold and heat, the metaphor encompasses every aspect of life including the vows; in happiness and sorrow, sickness and health, poverty or wealth, weakness or strength, difficulties and comforts, men and women are indeed each other’s garment. No matter what faith or culture you follow, the essence of the vows is the same; justice.
Justice is the basis for peace, be it between spouses, family members, business partners, stockholders and consumers, president and the public, minorities and majorities, communities, nations or the globe. Whenever one takes advantage of the other, the balance is lost and the unit is crippled. In personal relationships, the disadvantaged ones are patiently waiting for the moment to get even or get justice. It is the hope that keeps the life moving forward.

A disgruntled couple was traveling in the country side; neither was speaking with the other. As they drove by a preserve, both of them spotted the wild boars on the roadside fighting each other. The spouting Husband opens his murderous mouth and looks at his wife “Your relatives?” She retorts right back “Yes, in-laws”.
It is time for men and women to pledge to be fair and just, there is joy in it. When there is justness, peace is the outcome.

Men need to outgrow their insecurities. To feel secure, some men scream, shout, suppress and oppress the other, deep down that makes them even more insecure. Men need to learn that to be secure; they have to learn to be equal with their partner in life. Accept it when you or she is wrong, there is no need to pretend and feed the insecurity. She is there to protect you and vice versa. You are each others respect and dignity.

From an Afghan to a Texan to a Zulu; from an Atheist to a Muslim to a Zoroastrian and every one in between, men have not been just to women. No one needs to rejoice as no one group can cast the first stone. The problem is with individuals and not with education, ethnicity, religion or race. So, let’s treat this is an individual problem one family at a time.

Mothers have more influence with the kids than the fathers; it behooves them to train their kids to grow up respecting every human regardless of their gender, age, race, face or faith. Let the kids learn that work is genderless; with a few well defined exceptions, each person is capable of doing every work. Two generations from now, you can expect the men and women to be true partners and true garments of each other.

Change does not have to happen with a Tsunami, it should happen with each single effort. We should not demand others to do it, we have to do it ourselves first, and let others do it with their own volition. At least we can we say, we have don our part and it will serve us well.

I will do my part.

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing Pluralism, politics, Islam, Religion, Terrorism, India and civic issues. His comments, news analysis, opinions and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website He can be reached at [email protected]

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