Wing Objectives:To provide opportunities in which women can learn meditation and gain spiritual empowerment.
To raise women's awareness of their potential while raising men's awareness of women's contributions.
To encourage women to embody moral and spiritual values and provide children with good role models.
To encourage women to make the home a peaceful, happy, tension-free place.
To empower women to combat the social evils of obscene literature/films, treatment as a sex object, early marriage, and the dowry system of bride-burning.
To enable women to play an effective role in relieving society of alcoholism, drug addiction, smoking, and other negative social habits.
To help women to play a leading role in eradicating ignorance, blind faith, religious intolerance and war.
Views and Perspectives:Women at the end of the 20th Century find themselves in vastly different circumstances from those of their grandmothers at the end of the 19th. Whereas for several previous centuries the role of the majority of women had been uniformly that of a housewife and mother, women nowadays can choose a career over children and an economically independent lifestyle over family responsibilities. Society is still trying to grapple with the consequences of this revolutionary shift.
Expected to be all things to all people, a woman today is challenged to draw upon traditional strengths while continuing to redefine her position in a rapidly changing society. She must use her head if she is to gain social, political and economic equality, and yet she must not lose her heart. Where is she heading? Can she rise to new heights above centuries of suppression without succumbing to the familiar security of subservience or the passivity of past patterns?
Peering into the mirror of time, a woman today sees herself with not just one face, but several. The traditional face of mother and housewife is still visible as a foundation under her modern make-up, which often resembles a mask of ambition and assertiveness not unlike that worn by her male counterpart. Her traditional face could always be relied upon to keep in touch with the ebb and flow of nature's rhythms, to nurture and heal, to sacrifice for the common good. It preserved values and social customs and provided a comforting sense of continuity with the past. But when it became a weary maze of worried wrinkles, dry and peeling in the heat of a male-dominated world, woman began to apply the modern mask.
Sometimes at night, after removing the layers contemporary coloring of woman's ancient face emerges in the moonlight-a face young yet full of age-old wisdom, strong yet gentle, loving yet detached. Expressing beauty and benevolence, fearlessness and flexibility, honesty and humility, it is the countenance most loved by God. Revealing the potential of feminine energy and inspiring hope and vision, it is also the face most loved by humanity. It is an image still worshipped and invoked today the legendary visage of the goddess into which woman was transformed when her face was gazed upon by God.
When did this transformation occur? Why would God make of woman a goddess? Actually, who but God would ever consider really empowering women? Who would look upon the countless faces of millions of mothers rolling chapatis or sorting their children's laundry and see in them an army of shaktis capable of transforming the world from a hellish place into a heavenly one? Who but God would even know how to go about it?
Spiritual empowerment is God's unique tool for renewing an ailing, aged world and restoring balance to nature, to the sexes and thus to the human family-and it is into the hands of women that God has entrusted this tool. Upon the heads of women He has placed an urn containing the knowledge for using the tool, and in the hearts of women He has placed the will to see the task through to the end.
Spiritual empowerment begins with an understanding of spirit. The soul, or spirit, is a tiny sentient star-like point of living, metaphysical energy. Its inherent nature includes the strengths of both the female and the male. The rational, discriminating, analytical 'left side' and the creative, intuitive and synthetical 'right side' of the human brain are simply the organs through which the masculine and feminine qualities of the soul are expressed through the body. Spiritual empowerment puts a person in touch with his or her inner strengths and enables an harmonious balance of the best of both the masculine and feminine within the personality. This is the first step toward the equality of the sexes.
Spiritual empowerment means connection with God. This experience enables a person to perceive his or her inner integrity and wholeness, which banishes feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. Thus, spiritual empowerment gives women self-respect and self-reliance and inspires them to serve others spiritually. Spiritually empowered women are models of moral excellence capable of maintaining unity and stability within the family, and engendering co-operation and harmony within the workplace and society. Spiritually empowered women are the co-creators of a spiritually empowered society in which women hold a place of honour and equality.
There is one more face of woman, a face glimpsed sometimes after dawn. In the morning sun, after peaceful rest, woman's face of innocence can be seen-pure and child-like, sweet and soft, like the petal of a newly opened flower. Her eyes sparkle with happiness and zest for life; her smile reflects a heart of gold. The contours of her cheeks and chin are composed, content; her royal brow inscribed with peace and wisdom. Radiant with purity, it is the face she wears when God's task is done, and her other faces laid to rest. Her natural beauty transparent and self-evident, she has no need of mirrors. So God puts away time's looking glass until the evening, when other faces emerge once more.
The Women's Wing is especially committed to bringing the message and methods of spiritual empowerment to women throughout India and the world. At the same time it endeavours to raise men's awareness to support this, as well as to attend to their own spiritual development.
It is worth explaining here that, although a person's initial impression may be that the Brahma Kumaris Institution primarily a women's organisation, this is not the case. Although women are at the helm, both men and women, in roughly equal numbers, participate in all aspects of the Institution's activities. It is an historical fact that the Vishwa Vidyalaya's founder, Prajapita Brahma, placed his entire assets and considerable wealth into a trust administered by 8 young women-a revolutionary step, especially in the 1930's in India where few women were even educated, let alone given administrative authority. He did so because he foresaw that the world of the future would be a world of harmony and balance, characterised by a full and equal partnership between men and women. For this, he knew that women must begin to be given the respect and confidence, in their abilities, necessary for their upliftment. The reader may observe for him or herself the evidence as to the soundness of his judgement. The Women's Wing, in addition to organising conferences, symposia, exhibitions, Rajyoga camps, et cetera as the other Wings do, also annually celebrates International Women's Day and publishes literature and conducts surveys on questions pertaining to women.
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