11/12/2012

Transforming Judgement of the Feminine

Having spent this past weekend at the two day-long retreat on the Buddhist idea of ''Self and not-Self (anatta)" and "Transforming Judgements" by author and engaged Buddhist teacher Donald Rothberg I am reflecting on the 'unconscious judgement of the feminine' and its import in the larger context of the evolution of whole human psyche, self, and society.

In India, China and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned quietly simply because they are girls. The United Nations estimates as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of this so-called “gendercide” [see this 3 minute video of 'It's a Girl' Documentary]. Girls who survive infancy are often subject to neglect, and many grow up to face extreme violence and even death at the hands of their own husbands or other family members.



Incidentally, the book "Half the Sky" came to my hand as a professor from Florida was handing it to Bhikkhuni Dhammananda during an outdoor lunch for visitors in front of her monastery at Nakhompathom in Thailand. 

Inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s groundbreaking book, HALF THE SKY takes on the central moral challenge of the 21st century: the oppression of women and girls worldwide. It is a passionate call-to-arms, urging us not only to bear witness to the plight of the world’s women, but to help to transform their oppression into opportunity. The linked problems of sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality — which needlessly claim one woman every 90 seconds — present to us the single most vital opportunity of our time: the opportunity to make a change. Featuring actress/activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde. Based on country data available, between 15 to 76 per cent of women experience physical or sexual violence from men in their lifetime. It happens everywhere – at home and at work, on the streets and in schools, during peacetime and in conflict. (UN Women UNiTE initiative)

In a recent meeting in New Delhi, Dalai Lama speaks about the limitation of materialistic education to solve deep rooted social problems by encouraging brain intellect, excessive competition, mistrust and neglect of human experience and heart intelligence. He emphasised the need for Women to take leadership roles for the transformation of society and human civilization. However, girls and women continue to pay a heavy price for having their own 'Voice'. Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl who dared to speak out against a ban on female education, was shot in the head by gunmen. Before the recent election week I was a little shocked to read that the most powerful Nation the U.S. ranks 79th in the world, behind 95 other countries, for percentage of women in office. This skewed pattern may be changing with the 2012 election (Emily's list)

Also came across this article What does Sex mean for World PeaceThe evidence is clear. The best predictor of a state's stability is how its women are treated. This applies to all human organization, public or private. What kind of views and intentions are essential now to make our inner and outer world turn towards sanity and compassion, so we can transform Self, Society and Economy from a Culture of War to a Culture of Peace.