Baha'i Girls to Bring a Message of Hope to United Nations Meeting on Women

February 25, 2007

Source: Baha'i World News Service

NEW YORK, United States, 25 February 2007 (BWNS) -- Among the hundreds of girls coming to the United Nations this week to discuss the problems facing girl children around the world will be a dozen with a distinctive viewpoint: their religion teaches that they are equal to boys.

"For Baha'is, it is a basic element of their faith that we must establish equality between women and men, not to mention girls and boys," said Fulya Vekiloglu, a representative of the Baha'i International Community to the United Nations.

"In a world where religious traditions often stand at the heart of discriminatory practices, this is a rather unique perspective, and one that ought to be a pattern for the future," said Ms. Vekiloglu, who also directs the Community's Office for the Advancement of Women.

"So we are hopeful that the 12 young Baha'i girls who are coming to New York for the Commission on the Status of Women next week can bring concrete examples of equality and empowerment in action."

Girl delegates will be coming from Baha'i communities in Brazil, Canada, India, Italy, Sweden, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, and the United States to the UN Commission on the Status of Women meeting, which this year will address as its priority theme: "The elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child."