A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Women

All should know, and in this regard attain the splendours of the sun of certitude, and be illumined thereby: Women and men have been and will always be equal in the sight of God. The Dawning-Place of the Light of God sheddeth its radiance upon all with the same effulgence. Verily God created women for men, and men for women. The most beloved of people before God are the most steadfast and those who have surpassed others in their love for God, exalted be His glory.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Women p. 26, 3)


And among the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh is the equality of women and men. The world of humanity has two wings—one is women and the other men. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible. Not until the world of women becomes equal to the world of men in the acquisition of virtues and perfections, can success and prosperity be attained as they ought to be.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 301)


As to thy question concerning the husband and wife, the tie between them and the children given to them by God: Know thou, verily, the husband is one who hath sincerely turned unto God, is awakened by the call of the Beauty of El-Bahá and chanteth the verses of Oneness in the great assemblies; the wife is a being who wisheth to be overflowing with and seeketh after the attributes of God and His names; and the tie between them is none other than the Word of God. Verily, it [the Word of God] causeth the multitudes to assemble together and the remote ones to be united. Thus the husband and wife are brought into affinity, are united and harmonized, even as though they were one person. Through their mutual union, companionship and love great results are produced in the world, both material and spiritual. The spiritual result is the appearance of divine bounties. The material result is the children who are born in the cradle of the love of God, who are nurtured by the breast of the knowledge of God, who are brought up in the bosom of the gift of God, and who are fostered in the lap of the training of God.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas, vol. 3, p. 605-606)


Begun in October, 1991, the Traditional Media as Change Agent Project is an experimental communication project aimed at changing the community’s perception of women. By using traditional media to draw men into a discussion of changes in women’s status, this community-based project is attempting to alleviate fear—on the part of both men and women—about women’s changing roles in society. The project will seek to enhance the status of rural women by emphasizing a consultative approach to community development and requiring the participation of both men and women. It will also test the validity of using traditional media, judiciously supported by simple electronic media in the hands of the community, to educate the community and to allow the community to set its own priorities for change.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1991 Nov 16, Report Rural Poverty Alleviation Efforts)


Blessed art thou because of this great bounty and manifest abundance! Verily, by day and by night I do mention thee and thy daughter who is the delight of thine eye, and supplicate God to make you both two burning lamps, shining at the meetings of the maid-servants of God, spreading the light of knowledge, burning the moth of imaginations and surmise and removing, through the light of manifest evidences and peremptory proofs, the darkness of suspicions.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, v2, p. 313)


But there are certain matters, the participation in which is not worthy of women. For example, at the time when the community is taking up vigorous defensive measures against the attack of foes, the women are exempt from military engagements. It may so happen that at a given time warlike and savage tribes may furiously attack the body politic with the intention of carrying on a wholesale slaughter of its members; under such a circumstance defence is necessary, but it is the duty of men to organize and execute such defensive measures and not the women—because their hearts are tender and they cannot endure the sight of the horror of carnage, even if it is for the sake of defence. From such and similar undertakings the women are exempt.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 183)


Consider how many important women have come into this world! How many queens have lived upon this earth! How many distinguished ladies have become the presidents of Societies! But neither have their names nor any great account of their deeds been left behind! Yet Mary Magdalene, who was only a peasant woman, because she became inspired to serve the Kingdom of Christ and to scatter his seeds in productive ground - what a great crop she gathered! And through the blessing of that harvest, they are even now building churches in her name! In all the Churches the people glorify and praise her and now, after 1900 years, Abdul Bahá is speaking of her lofty station! He testifies to the fact, that, in the Kingdom of Christ she served more than all the apostles. She even became the cause of the firmness and steadfastness of the Apostles, for, accordingly to the Text of the Gospels, their faith wavered after the crucifixion, but Mary Magdalene inspired them with resolution, and certainty. Consider what a service she rendered to the Kingdom of Christ! That is why, like unto a star, she is shining from the horizon of Eternity.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, quoted in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Egypt, by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, p. 253)


Consider the animal kingdom, where no distinction is observed between male and female. They are equal in powers and privileges. Among birds of the air no distinction is evidenced. Their powers are equal; they dwell together in complete unity and mutual recognition of rights. Shall we not enjoy the same equality? Its absence is not befitting to mankind.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 136)


Formerly in India, Persia and throughout the Orient, she was not considered a human being. Certain Arab tribes counted their women in with the live stock. In their language the noun for woman also meant donkey; that is, the same name applied to both and a man’s wealth was accounted by the number of these beasts of burden he possessed. The worst insult one could hurl at a man was to cry out, “Thou woman!” From the moment BAHA‘O‘LLAH appeared, this changed. He did away with the idea of distinction between the sexes, proclaiming them equal in every capacity. In former times it was considered wiser that woman should not know how to read or write; she should occupy herself only with drudgery. She was very ignorant. BAHA‘O‘LLAH declares the education of woman to be of more importance than that of man. If the mother be ignorant, even if the father have great knowledge, the child’s education will be at fault, for education begins with the milk. A child at the breast is like a tender branch that the gardener can train as he wills.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 86)


Furthermore, the education of woman is more necessary and important than that of man, for woman is the trainer of the child from its infancy. If she be defective and imperfect herself, the child will necessarily be deficient; therefore, imperfection of woman implies a condition of imperfection in all mankind, for it is the mother who rears, nurtures and guides the growth of the child … If the educator be incompetent, the educated will be correspondingly lacking. This is evident and incontrovertible. Could the student be brilliant and accomplished if the teacher is illiterate and ignorant? The mothers are the first educators of mankind; if they be imperfect, alas for the condition and future of the race.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 133-134)


His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh has greatly strengthened the cause of women, and the rights and privileges of women is one of the greatest principles of Abdu’lBahá. Rest ye assured! Ere long the days shall come when the men addressing the women, shall say: ‘Blessed are ye! Blessed are ye! Verily ye are worthy of every gift. Verily ye deserve to adorn your heads with the crown of everlasting glory, because in sciences and arts, in virtues and perfections ye shall become equal to man, and as regards tenderness of heart and the abundance of mercy and sympathy ye are superior‘.
(Abdu’lBahá, Paris Talks, p. 183-184)


History records the appearance in the world of women who have been signs of guidance, power and accomplishment. Some were notable poets, some philosophers and scientists, others courageous upon the field of battle. Qurratu’l-‘Ayn, a Bahá’í, was a poetess. She discomfited the learned men of Persia by her brilliancy and fervor. When she entered a meeting, even the learned were silent. She was so well versed in philosophy and science that those in her presence always considered and consulted her first. Her courage was unparalleled; she faced her enemies fearlessly until she was killed. She withstood a despotic king, the Shah of Persia, who had the power to decree the death of any of his subjects. There was not a day during which he did not command the execution of some. This woman singly and alone withstood such a despot until her last breath, then gave her life for her faith.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 74-75)


If woman be fully educated and granted her rights, she will attain the capacity for wonderful accomplishments and prove herself the equal of man.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 136)


In ancient times and medieval ages woman was completely subordinated to man. The cause of this estimate of her inferiority was her lack of education. A woman’s life and intellect were limited to the household. Glimpses of this may be found even in the Epistles of Saint Paul. In later centuries the scope and opportunities of a woman’s life broadened and increased. Her mind unfolded and developed; her perceptions awakened and deepened. The question concerning her was: Why should a woman be left mentally undeveloped? Science is praiseworthy—whether investigated by the intellect of man or woman. So, little by little, woman advanced, giving increasing evidence of equal capabilities with man—whether in scientific research, political ability or any other sphere of human activity. The conclusion is evident that woman has been outdistanced through lack of education and intellectual facilities. If given the same educational opportunities or course of study, she would develop the same capacity and abilities.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 280)


In past ages it was held that woman and man were not equal – that is to say, woman was considered inferior to man, even from the standpoint of her anatomy and creation. She was considered especially inferior in intelligence, and the idea prevailed universally that it was not allowable for her to step into the arena of important affairs. In some countries man went so far as to believe and teach that woman belonged to a sphere lower than human. But in this century, which is the century of light and the revelation of mysteries, God is proving to the satisfaction of humanity that all this is ignorance and error, nay, rather, it is well established that mankind and womankind as parts of composite humanity are coequal and that no difference in estimate is allowable, for all are human.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 133)


In past ages woman was wronged and oppressed. This was especially the case in Asia and Africa. In certain parts of Asia women were not considered as members of humankind. They were looked upon as inferior, unworthy creatures, subordinate and subject to man. A certain people known as the Nusayris held to the belief for a long period that woman was the incarnation of the evil spirit, or Satan, and that man alone was the manifestation of God, the Merciful. At last this century of light dawned, the realities shone forth, and the mysteries long hidden from human vision were revealed. Among these revealed realities was the great principle of the equality of man and woman, which is now finding recognition throughout the whole world—America, Europe and the Orient.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 76)


In response to a question concerning whether Bahá’u’lláh’s injunction requires a wife and mother … to work for a livelihood, the Universal House of Justice has explained that Bahá’u’lláh’s directive is for the friends to be engaged in an occupation which will profit themselves and others, and that homemaking is a highly honourable and responsible work of fundamental importance to society.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 193)


In this Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, the women go neck and neck with the men. In no movement will they be left behind. Their rights with men are equal in degree. They will enter all the administrative branches of politics. They will attain in all such a degree as will be considered the very highest station of the world of humanity and will take part in all affairs. Rest ye assured. Do ye not look upon the present conditions; in the not far distant future the world of women will become all-refulgent and all-glorious, For His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh Hath Willed It so! At the time of elections the right to vote is the inalienable right of women, and the entrance of women into all human departments is an irrefutable and incontrovertible question. No soul can retard or prevent it.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 182)


In this great Cycle and wondrous Dispensation some women have been raised up who were the emblems of unity and ensigns of oneness, for the revelation of divine bestowals is received by men and women in equal measure. “Verily the most honoured in the sight of God is the most virtuous amongst you” is applicable to both men and women, to servants and handmaidens. All are under the shadow of the Word of God and all derive their strength from the bounties of the Lord.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 395)


It is my earnest hope that you, His distinguished leaf, together with the other maidservants of the All-Merciful in that land, may be so enkindled by the flame set ablaze by the hand of God as to illumine the whole world through the quickening energy of the love of God, and that through the eloquence of your speech, the fluency of your tongue, and the confirmations of the Holy Spirit you will be empowered to expound divine wisdom in such manner that men of eloquence, and the scholars and sages of the world, will be lost in bewilderment. This indeed would not be hard for Him.
(Bahiyyih Khánum, p. 100)


Know in the reality of assurance that every true woman who is attracted by the fragrances of holiness in this most glorious age will surpass even the most developed men of previous centuries. It is incumbent upon thee to make thy greatest effort; to put forth thy full strength; to supplicate and to worship, and to be careful to put thy full trust in the Kingdom of the Lord Most High. Make ready thy soul that thou mayest be like the light which shineth forth from the loftiest heights on the coast, by means of which guidance may be given to the timid ships amid the darkness of fog and the heaving of the sea.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, v2, p. 278)


O My handmaiden, O My leaf! Render thou thanks unto the Best-Beloved of the world for having attained this boundless grace at a time when the world’s learned and most distinguished men have remained deprived thereof. We have designated thee ‘a leaf’ that thou mayest, like unto leaves, be stirred by the gentle wind of the Will of God—exalted be His glory—even as the leaves of the trees are stirred by onrushing winds. Yield thou thanks unto thy Lord by virtue of this brilliant utterance. Wert thou to perceive the sweetness of the title ‘O My handmaiden’ thou wouldst find thyself detached from all mankind, devoutly engaged day and night in communion with Him Who is the sole Desire of the world. In words of incomparable beauty We have made fitting mention of such leaves and handmaidens as have quaffed from the living waters of heavenly grace and have kept their eyes directed towards God. Happy and blessed are they indeed. Ere long shall God reveal their station whose loftiness no word can befittingly express nor any description adequately describe.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 254)


O thou maidservant of God! Every woman who becometh the maidservant of God outshineth in glory the empresses of the world, for she is related to God, and her sovereignty is everlasting, whereas a handful of dust will obliterate the name and fame of those empresses. In other words, as soon as they go down to the grave they are reduced to naught. The maidservants of God’s Kingdom, on the other hand, enjoy eternal sovereignty unaffected by the passing of ages and generations. Consider how many empresses have come and gone since the time of Christ. Each was the ruler of a country but now all trace and name of them is lost, while Mary Magdalene, who was only a peasant and a maidservant of God, still shineth from the horizon of everlasting glory. Strive thou, therefore, to remain the maidservant of God.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 122)


O ye two believers in God! The Lord, peerless is He, hath made woman and man to abide with each other in the closest companionship, and to be even as a single soul. They are two helpmates, two intimate friends, who should be concerned about the welfare of each other. If they live thus, they will pass through this world with perfect contentment, bliss, and peace of heart, and become the object of divine grace and favour in the Kingdom of heaven … Strive, then, to abide, heart and soul, with each other as two doves in the nest, for this is to be blessed in both worlds.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 122)


Of a surety, there is no greater pride and glory for a woman than to be a handmaid in God’s Court of Grandeur; and the qualities that shall merit her this station are an alert and wakeful heart; a firm conviction of the unity of God, the Peerless; a heartfelt love for all His maidservants; spotless purity and chastity; obedience to and consideration for her husband; attention to the education and nurturing of her children; composure, calmness, dignity and self-possession; diligence in praising God, and worshipping Him both night and day; constancy and firmness in His holy Covenant; and the utmost ardour, enthusiasm, and attachment to His Cause....
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá?, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 392)


Often in history women have been the pride of humanity—for example, Mary, the mother of Jesus. She was the glory of mankind. Mary Magdalene, Asiyih, daughter of Pharaoh, Sarah, wife of Abraham, and innumerable others have glorified the human race by their excellences. In this day there are women among the Bahá’ís who far outshine men. They are wise, talented, well-informed, progressive, most intelligent and the light of men. They surpass men in courage. When they speak in meetings, the men listen with great respect.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 174)


One of the potentialities hidden in the realm of humanity was the capability or capacity of womanhood. Through the effulgent rays of divine illumination the capacity of woman has become so awakened and manifest in this age that equality of man and woman is an established fact.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 76)


She is the coadjutor of man, his complement and helpmeet. Both are human; both are endowed with potentialities of intelligence and embody the virtues of humanity. In all human powers and functions they are partners and coequals. At present in spheres of human activity woman does not manifest her natal prerogatives, owing to lack of education and opportunity. Without doubt education will establish her equality with men.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 136-137)


The assumption of superiority by man will continue to be depressing to the ambition of woman, as if her attainment to equality was creationally impossible; woman’s aspiration toward advancement will be checked by it, and she will gradually become hopeless. On the contrary, we must declare that her capacity is equal, even greater than man’s. This will inspire her with hope and ambition, and her susceptibilities for advancement will continually increase.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 76)


The contribution of women to social, economic and cultural development is paramount. As the primary educators of children, women must themselves be educated and receive literacy training. As wives and mothers, as members of the professions, as farmers, as stewards of the health and well-being of families, and as members of Bahá’í administrative institutions, women must be welcomed into full partnership with men in consultative decision-making and in guiding the progress of their communities.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1998 Dec 16, Traditional practices in Africa)


The emancipation of women, the achievement of full equality between the sexes, is one of the most important, though less acknowledged prerequisites of peace. The denial of such equality perpetuates an injustice against one half of the world’s population and promotes in men harmful attitudes and habits that are carried from the family to the workplace, to political life, and ultimately to international relations. There are no grounds, moral, practical, or biological, upon which such denial can be justified. Only as women are welcomed into full partnership in all fields of human endeavour will the moral and psychological climate be created in which international peace can emerge.
(Universal House of Justice, To the Peoples of the World, A Bahá’í Statement on Peace)


The happiness of mankind will be realized when women and men coordinate and advance equally, for each is the complement and helpmeet of the other.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 182)


The most momentous question of this day is international peace and arbitration, and universal peace is impossible without universal suffrage. Children are educated by the women. The mother bears the troubles and anxieties of rearing the child, undergoes the ordeal of its birth and training. Therefore, it is most difficult for mothers to send to the battlefield those upon whom they have lavished such love and care. Consider a son reared and trained twenty years by a devoted mother … Having brought him through dangers and difficulties to the age of maturity, how agonizing then to sacrifice him upon the battlefield! Therefore, the mothers will not sanction war nor be satisfied with it. So it will come to pass that when women participate fully and equally in the affairs of the world, when they enter confidently and capably the great arena of laws and politics, war will cease; for woman will be the obstacle and hindrance to it.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 134-135)


The mother bears the troubles and anxieties of rearing the child, undergoes the ordeal of its birth and training. Therefore, it is most difficult for mothers to send to the battlefield those upon whom they have lavished such love and care. Consider a son reared and trained twenty years by a devoted mother. What sleepless nights and restless, anxious days she has spent! Having brought him through dangers and difficulties to the age of maturity, how agonizing then to sacrifice him upon the battlefield! Therefore, the mothers will not sanction war nor be satisfied with it. So it will come to pass that when women participate fully and equally in the affairs of the world, when they enter confidently and capably the great arena of laws and politics, war will cease; for woman will be the obstacle and hindrance to it. This is true and without doubt.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 134-135)


The woman has greater moral courage than the man; she has also special gifts which enable her to govern in moments of danger and crisis. If necessary she can become a warrior.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 103)


The woman has greater moral courage than the man; she has also special gifts which enable her to govern in moments of danger and crisis. If necessary she can become a warrior.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 103)


The woman is indeed of the greater importance to the race. She has the greater burden and the greater work.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 102)


The world in the past has been ruled by force, and man has dominated over woman by reason of his more forceful and aggressive qualities both of body and mind. But the balance is already shifting; force is losing its dominance, and mental alertness, intuition, and the spiritual qualities of love and service, in which woman is strong, are gaining ascendancy. Hence the new age will be an age less masculine and more permeated with the feminine ideals, or, to speak more exactly, will be an age in which the masculine and feminine elements of civilization will be more evenly balanced.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Star of the West, viii, No 3, 4)



The world of humanity consists of two parts: male and female. Each is the complement of the other. Therefore, if one is defective, the other will necessarily be incomplete, and perfection cannot be attained. There is a right hand and a left hand in the human body, functionally equal in service and administration … If we say one hand is deficient, we prove the inability and incapacity of the other; for singlehanded there is no full accomplishment. Just as physical accomplishment is complete with two hands, so man and woman, the two parts of the social body, must be perfect … The truth is that all mankind are the creatures and servants of one God, and in His estimate all are human.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 133-134)


There are some who declare that woman is not naturally endowed or imbued with the same capabilities as man; that she is intellectually inferior to man, weaker in willpower and lacking his courage. This theory is completely contradicted by history and facts of record. Certain women of superlative capacity and determination have appeared in the world, peers of man in intellect and equally courageous.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 280)


Therefore, strive to show in the human world that women are most capable and efficient, that their hearts are more tender and susceptible than the hearts of men, that they are more philanthropic and responsive toward the needy and suffering, that they are inflexibly opposed to war and are lovers of peace. Strive that the ideal of international peace may become realized through the efforts of womankind, for man is more inclined to war than woman, and a real evidence of woman’s superiority will be her service and efficiency in the establishment of universal peace.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 284)


Today among the Bahá’ís of Persia there are many women who are the very pride and envy of the men. They are imbued with all the virtues and excellences of humanity. They are eloquent; they are poets and scholars and embody the quintessence of humility. In political ability and acumen they have been able to cope and compete with representative men. They have consecrated their lives and forfeited their possessions in martyrdom for the sake of humanity, and the traces of their glory will last forever. The pages of the history of Persia are illumined by the lives and records of these women.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 136)


Undoubtedly the greatest glory of women is servitude at His Threshold and submissiveness at His door; it is the possession of a vigilant heart, and praise of the incomparable God; it is heartfelt love towards other handmaids and spotless chastity; it is obedience to and consideration for their husbands and the education and care of their children; and it is tranquility, and dignity, perseverance in the remembrance of the Lord, and the utmost enkindlement and attraction.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 225)


What ‘Abdu’l-Bahá meant about the Women arising for peace is that this is a matter which vitally affects women, and when they form a conscious and overwhelming mass of public opinion against war there can be no war. The Bahá’í women are already organized through being members of the Faith and the Administrative Order. No further organization is needed. But they should through teaching and through the active moral support they give to every movement directed towards peace, seek to exert a strong influence on other women’s minds in regard to this essential matter.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 618)


When men own the equality of women there will be no need for them to struggle for their rights!
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 162)


When we consider the kingdoms of existence below man, we find no distinction or estimate of superiority and inferiority between male and female. Among the myriad organisms of the vegetable and animal kingdoms sex exists, but there is no differentiation whatever as to relative importance and value in the equation of life. If we investigate impartially, we may even find species in which the female is superior or preferable to the male. For instance, there are trees such as the fig, the male of which is fruitless while the female is fruitful. The male of the date palm is valueless while the female bears abundantly. Inasmuch as we find no ground for distinction or superiority according to the creative wisdom in the lower kingdoms, is it logical or becoming of man to make such distinction in regard to himself? The male of the animal kingdom does not glory in its being male and superior to the female. In fact, equality exists and is recognized. Why should man, a higher and more intelligent creature, deny and deprive himself of this equality the animals enjoy? His surest index and guide as to the creative intention concerning himself are the conditions and analogies of the kingdoms below him where equality of the sexes is fundamental.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 75)


Women have equal rights with men upon earth; in religion and society they are a very important element. As long as women are prevented from attaining their highest possibilities, so long will men be unable to achieve the greatness which might be theirs.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 133)


Women must go on advancing; they must extend their knowledge of science, literature, history, for the perfection of humanity. Erelong they will receive their rights. Men will see women in earnest, bearing themselves with dignity, improving the civil and political life, opposed to warfare, demanding suffrage and equal opportunities. I expect to see you advance in all phases of life; then will your brows be crowned with the diadem of eternal glory.
(Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era, p. 148-149)


… we must declare that her capacity is equal, even greater than man’s. This will inspire her with hope and ambition, and her susceptibilities for advancement will continually increase. She must not be told and taught that she is weaker and inferior in capacity and qualification. If a pupil is told that his intelligence is less than his fellow pupils, it is a very great drawback and handicap to his progress. He must be encouraged to advance by the statement, “You are most capable, and if you endeavor, you will attain the highest degree.”
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 76)


… ye two pure beings are even as a single precious gem, ye are two boughs branched from a single tree; ye both adore the same Beloved, ye both are longing for the same resplendent Sun. My hope is that all the handmaids of God … will unite like unto the waves of one unending sea; for although blown about as the wind listeth, these are separate in themselves, yet in truth are they all at one with the boundless deep.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 75)