Status of Women in SikhismEquality

Guru Nanak (founder of Sikhism in the form of ten gurus 1469-1708), received a revelation from the creator.   Embracing the gender-free, one universal creator (monotheism), he rejected the caste system, and the inferior status of women and declared untrue the beliefs of the day.   He said that anything he declared was declared under the authority of the creator, God. 

Sikhism is unique in recognizing unequivocal equality for all human beings and specifically for both men and women.  Among equality of all human beings, fundamental aspects of Sikh theology include implicit gender equality and independence for women. The spiritual beliefs of Sikhism (revealed to Guru Nanak in 1469) propose social reform of women's roles in society. Sikhism advocates active and equal participation in congregation, academics, healthcare, military among other aspects of society. Female subordination, the practice of taking father's or husband's last name, practicing rituals that imply dependence or subordination are all alien to the Sikh principles. The universal principles of Sikhism and the spiritual beliefs are to be practiced daily and incorporated in day to day living.  Cynthia Mahmood comments on gender equality, "God said it, I believe it.  And that's the end of it."[5]

Ideally, if each of us truly incorporated the Guru's teachings in our daily lives, this would be a perfect world to live in.  There would be no bickering over dowry, there would be less excuses to perpetuate violenceEquality of Women in Sikh Ideology and Practice would render moot the issues such as, "What Rights do Sikh Women Have? or What is a Women's Identity?

The Guru's defended our freedom and taught us to live free of bondage and tyranny.  If Guru Nanak or Guru Gobind Singh were living amongst us, they would be terribly disappointed.  Although some outdated traditions are still practiced, they are certainly not a reflection of Sikhi in our lives. 

Sikhism equal rights extend to all beings.  Acceptance and incorporation of those with special Needs, the disadvantaged, the poor or those without a gender designation are no exception to the rule. 







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