Whom do we exactly refer to as a woman? Is there any necessary quality, any presupposed virtue that characterizes an individual as a woman? It is very evident from this question that from time immemorial, the societal sterotypes of girl and boy, men and women have been constructed, deconstructed and then reconstructed. Gender roles have been assigned and are still assigned to both males and females, rendering them a stereotypical perfection. Toril Moi in her renowned work, What Is A Woman vividly portrays the societal discrimination between men and women and develops a pertinent point in this collection and I wish to quote her- “In certain situations, I wish my female body to be considered as the insignificant background of my claims or acts. This is not the same thing as to say that I wish my body to disappear or to be transformed into a male body. It represents, rather a wish to deny that the fact of being a woman is of any particular relevance to my understanding of trigonometry or my capacity to compose symphonies or think ethically.” Thus it can be deciphered that there is an intrinsic connection between society and gender roles. The phenomenon of socialization deserves special mention while discussing the parameters of the phrase ‘being a woman’. Since the moment we are born, we are moulded into the being society wants us to be. Socialization is the process through which the child becomes an individual respecting his or her environmental or societal laws, norms and customs. Gender socialization begins from the moment we are born with the question, is it a boy or a girl? Gender roles are learnt from agencies of socialization such as family, peer groups, schools and the media. Drawing from the thesis of Isabella Crispi, a scholar of the department of sociology, University of Milan, Italy, it can be said that gender stereotypes are related to cognitive processes because people generally have different expectations for female and male behavior such as males are supposed to be adventurous, aggressive, assertive, independent and task oriented whereas females are perceived as more sensitive, dependent, gentle, emotional and people-oriented. A prominent illustration of gender socialization and gender discrimination can be found in Malala Yousafzai’s renowned work “I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban” – “When I was born, people in our village commiserated with my mother and nobody congratulated my father…..I was a girl in a land where rifles are fired in celebration of a son while daughters are hidden away behind a curtain, their role in life simply to prepare food and give birth to children”. It is to be noted that exactly this is not the situation all over the world. The way a woman is perceived varies across countries, religions, regions, cultures and languages. However the universal phenomenon of domination of men and the subsequent subjugation or subordination of women clearly exists. I would like to share a very interesting part of my experience while working on this topic. We all know that books are the storehouse of knowledge and in this post-modern age of globalization we have various internet sources and devices which provide answers to all our queries. However, not a single book or internet source could satisfy my ingratiating thirst of knowing that what does ‘Being a Woman’ actually implies. This proves the fact that for centuries both the so called categories of ‘men’ and ‘women’ have been extremely abstract entities. Here I would like to delve deep into the feminist interpretations laid down by Simone de Beauvoir and Toril Moi whose writings reflect a transcendental approach towards the analysis of women as an entity. Simone de Beauvoir was a French intellectual, existentialist philosopher, feminist and social theorist. She had a considerable influence on both feminist existentialism and feminist theory. Her treatise The Second Sex is a detailed analysis of women’s oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism. In this work she brings into existence a kind of moral revolution. As an existentialist, she believed that existence precedes essence. Hence one is not born a woman but one becomes one. There is a vivid exposition of the Hegelian concept of the Other. In other words, it is the social construction of woman as the quintessential other that de Beauvoir identifies as fundamental to women’s subjection. However, Toril Moi chose to counteract beauvoir’s interpretation. She pointed out to de Beauvoir’s proposal that “Woman is not a completed reality, but rather a becoming…..the body is not a thing but it is a situation”. By this statement, Moi propounds that de Beauvoir was forwarding an existentialist understanding of human identity as a progressive collection of experiences. She also highlights the fact that the predominant understanding of Beauvoir’s distinction of the self into sex and gender misguided; de Beauvoir did not envisage a biologically sexed body different from the gendered body, but instead understood what Margaret Atwood in her book Feminism and Fiction has enumerated- that “the body-in-the-world that we are is an embodies intentional relationship to the world”. Hence for Toril Moi the interpretation of the body as a situation does not necessarily obliviate the concept of the reproductive body but rather the assumption that “greater freedom will produce new ways of being a woman, new ways of experiencing the possibilities of a woman’s body, not that women will forever be slaves to the inherently oppressive experience of childbearing” exists. However, Margaret Atwood in her another famous composition The Edible Woman highlights the reality that transcendence of the body is a desirable but ultimately unattainable fantasy. I would like to come to another question that is simple yet mind-boggling. It is often easy to distinguish between men and women based on the societal parameters but have we ever wondered that when does actually a girl says that “yes I am a woman now.”….? In other words, subjectively speaking, what ‘should’ be the differences between a girl and a woman? Technically speaking, girl and woman are two terms used to label a female gender based from it’s maturity. The term girl refers to a female human starting from the moment she is born. According to the pre-existing social norms and customs, untill childhood and teenage years females are considered as a girl. The term girl was coined from an anglo-saxon word ‘gerle’ during the middle ages around 1300 CE. Woman or women is the term given to female humans who have reached the maturity phase and adulthood commonly around 18 years or above. Woman comes from an old english word ‘wifman’ which literally means ‘female human’. All these meanings have been established by the society from time immemorial through a gradual emergence and development of norms, customs and traditions. An individual’s journey since childhood is quite tumultuous if the person is born as a girl. She is goaded into believing that she is someone else’s property, ‘paraya dhan’ as people call her and life is intentionally brought within a fixed circumference. However, a very interesting question has been posed by Vern L Bullough, Brenda Shelton and Sarah Slavin in their compiled work The Subordinated Sex: A History of Attitudes toward Women. The question is “men usually believed they are the superior sex, but is it not possible that they both fear and envy women”? The answer of course lies in women’s capabilities of reproducing, making food, taking care of husband and children, and all other qualities that have been relegated to the private sphere since centuries. However, a woman’s life is determined to a large extent by her culture, region, country, religion, caste, class and language. Thus gender and religion are intrinsically intertwined with each other. I would like to establish this point in relation to the modern era. In contemporary times we can see that if a woman is from a lower strata of society, be that strata in terms of caste or class, her journey becomes far more tumultuous and according to societal norms, ‘being a woman’, she ‘should’ endure every brutal aspect of life with sheer acceptance. Here a glaring instance of injustice and brutality against women in India can be sited. The village of Beerampur in Uttar Pradesh is a small and rural community comprising over 1000 people who rely primarily on agriculture for earning a living. Poverty is a highlighting feature of Beerampur where arrange marriages are a common phenomena before the girl reaches the age of 18. Khushboo’s father died when she was a little child and subsequently the family had to face economic hardships and societal battles. After some time she was pressurized by her mother and the community to marry in order to help her family. Khushboo recalls and I would like to exactly quote what she said: “ I was very young. I couldn’t say anything. I couldn’t understand.” Her early marriage led to her dropout from school and with the lack of existence of family planning measures, she was soon t give birth to a child. However, complications arose during childbirth and as she says, “it was a question of survival of either the mother or the baby. The doctors tried hard but they couldn’t save my child”. After that incidence Khushboo rarely talked to anyone and was lost in her own world. Her sister was an evidence of her depression and anxiety. She felt that her sister’s childhood was stolen from her. In Lucknow where this incidence of child marriage took place, 40% of the girls are married before they reach the age of 18. Although the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act has been adopted in 2006, laws are not always enforced. Khushboo’s struggle as a woman bears testimony to the that despite her tempestuous journey and her sudden transformation from a girl to a woman she now works as a peer educator. She takes initiatives with her colleagues to arrange meetings so that awareness can be spread among the common people about the disastrous effects of early marriages. According to her sister Priyanka, “I hope that not only me but every girl should think of getting married only once she is independent”. As we can derive from this instance, women have always been regarded as a commodity meant for the advantage and use of men. In her Vindication Of the Rights of Women Mary Wollstonecraft argued that women’s current weaknesses were due to institutions which prevented them from reaching their true potential. In addition to education, most fundamental among them was marriage and as enumerated by Robert B Shoemaker in his work Gender in English Society 1650-1850: The Emergence of Separate Spheres? “Wollstonecraft proposed that husbands and wives should be equally necessary and independent of each other while each fulfills the respective duties of their stations.” If we delve deep into a more number of case studies in India and specially the middle eastern countries we can find that such injustice, brutality, torture and subordination are a common phenomena. For instance women in muslim societies face gender based inequalities associated with the so-called gender system. Aspects of this originally pre-capitalist system persist in rural areas across a wide swath of lands, both muslim and non-muslim from East Asia to North Africa. As pointed out in a report prepared by the Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, Washington DC, “the system regardless of religion, features kin-based extended families, male domination, early marriage, restrictive codes of female behavior, the linkage of family honour with virtue, and occasionally, polygamous family structure.” The alarming rate of women’s domination and subjection can be exemplified by these instances. Yet women refuse to give up their honour and relentlessly struggle to survive in this brutal and selfish world. The strength and courage which women have been displaying over a gradual period since ancient till modern times have led to the enactment of several laws relating to the protection of their rights and privileges. I suppose there lies the true essence of the phrase “Being A Woman”. Thus, women’s emancipation and women empowerment are extremely fundamental to a woman’s life starting from the moment she is born. The connotations of women’s rights, women empowerment and women’s emancipation are however different in the eastern and the western world. The middle-eastern countries especially Turkmenistan and Saudi Arabia have been known for their repressive and harsh regimes for women. As International Women’s Day is celebrated every year women in the middle east continue to feel the extremes of violence, repression, isolation, enforced ignorance and discrimination. However in the past few years there has been an improvement in the educational facilities and in the general conditions of women. The Economic Research Forum has invited submissions of proposals under the theme of Female Economic Empowerment in the MENA(Middle Eastern and North African) region. Also, the US-Middle East Partnership Initiative or the MEPI are helping women in the MENA region to reach their true potential and overcome their subordinated status. MEPI projects assist women seeking greater political and economic participation, provide training to enhance women's capabilities to contribute to reforms and change, and build the capacity of civil society to secure equal rights and opportunities for women. Thus emancipation in the middle east has been a slow and gradual process which till now has been able to do only 40% of the work. Women in the middle east are still struggling to achieve a wider arena of rights, freedom and independence as conditions of brutality still exists in a large number of countries including Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan where 90 per cent of women experience domestic violence and women earn 82% less than men. However, we can envisage a different picture of emancipation and empowerment of women in the western world. Increasing and active participation of women in the political and economic spheres is essentially leading to increasing democratic stability in the west. Investing in women entrepreneurs is one of the best ways to achieve economic, financial and social impact. Women reinvest more of their earned income than men in the health and education of the family, increasing the human capital of their community and creating the foundation for long term economic growth. Women enjoy the universal adult franchise and fact American women were the first in the world to voice organized demands for the vote. Socially, politically and culturally they are in a much better position than women in the middle eastern countries. This difference in the status of women in the two dynamic but opposite worlds can be attributed to the difference in the religion, culture, tradition and regimes in this world. Although historically it has been observed that the west especially USA has supported dictatorship regimes in the east, over a period of time dictatorial and arbitrary regimes have been a frequent phenomenon. Democracy in the west has provided greater freedom and suffrage to women whereas dictatorship in the east has made life for women restricted within their homes, subjugating and subordinating them to the greatest possible extent. This has been exemplified my Malala Yousafzai in her work I Am Malala: The girl who stood up for education and was shot by the taliban when she recollects: “Under Zia’s regime life for women in Pakistan became much more restricted…..General Zia brought in laws which reduced a woman’s evidence in court to count for only half of that of a man’s……A woman could not even open a bank account without a man’s permission”. Also differences in the religious views in these two countries have a great impact on the lives of women. For instance islam is the dominant religion in the middle east and the quran as we know assigns gender roles to both men and women. Islam differentiates the gender role of women who believes in islam and those who do not. This assertion can be exemplified by the fact that the muslim men’s right to own slave women, seized during military campaigns and jihad against non-believing infidels from Southern Europe to Africa to India to Central Asia was considered natural. In the west due to emerging multi-culturalism and multi-religiosity there have been interaction among diverse religions and cultures and an adoption of various practices and traditions and thus women have been granted more freedom. Although Christianity has been the dominant religion in the west especially USA and feminist theorists have whole-heartedly criticized it as patriarchal and misandric, which has marked American Protestantism for many decades, spiritual leaders have also preached that if there is a major problem in a couple's marriage, whether or not it leads to divorce, it is ultimately the husband's fault and also assumptions like women are more moral and spiritual than men and women are more sensitive to the holy spirit than men. Thus we can decipher that religion and gender are intrinsically intertwined with each other and different religions assign different positions to women where in some places women are liberated whereas in others women are subjugated. However, Priyamvada Gopal, of Churchill College, Cambridge, argues that increased gender equality is indeed a product of Judeo-Christian doctrine, but not exclusive to it. She expresses concern that gender equality is used by western countries as a rationale for "neocolonialism". Thus, Emancipation of women has different connotations in different places of the world and the meaning of empowerment and liberation of women varies according to religion, region, culture, ethnicity, tradition, class and caste. I would like put emphasis on an analysis of the relationship between subjection and emancipation of women and domination by men. It can be derived that as white exists because black exists, as the notion of good exists because the notion of evil exists, similarly, the entire concept of women exists because the notion of manhood exists and vice versa. The notion of woman emancipation still survives just because the phenomenon of male domination has survived, flourished and remained powerful since time immemorial. For instance, all judicial institutions in the country would be meaningless if there was no crime and no criminal in the country. In this context I would refer to the master and slave dialectic put forward by G. W. F. Hegel. The master-slave dialectic is a vital element of Hegel’s philosophical system which is the common name for his Phenomenology of Spirit. The passage describes, in narrative form, the development of self-consciousness as such in an encounter between what are thereby two distinct, self-conscious beings; the essence of the dialectic is the movement or motion of recognizing, in which the two self-consciousnesses are constituted each in being recognized as self-conscious by the other. This movement, inexorably taken to its extreme, takes the form of a "struggle to the death" in which one masters the other, only to find that such lordship makes the very recognition he had sought impossible, since the bondsman, in this state, is not free to offer it. Truth of oneself as self-conscious is achieved only if both live; the recognition of the other gives each of them the objective truth and self-certainty required for self-consciousness. Thus, the two enter into the relation of master/slave and preserve the recognition of each other. The relationship between man and woman and between subjection of women and domination by men can be exactly related to the master and slave philosophy, with the woman as the slave and the man as the master. Philip J. Kain in is famous work Hegel and the Other: A Study of the Phenomenology of Spirit offers an enumerating discussion on the master-slave dialectic when he expounds that “we are all after all constructed by the other. The slave is constructed by the master and the master is constructed by the slave. And so what is recognition by the other worth? The master did not think the slave’s recognition was worth anything from the start and this ends up undermining the master himself. The slave, on the other hand never expected anything from the master.” The circumstance has been predominantly similar with regard to the inextricable relationship between men and women. Women have always been regarded as slaves to men and have never been allowed the opportunity to voice their opinions. In fact until a long time women were refused to be perceived as individuals. Like the slave in Hegel’s theory men did not think that women’s recognition was worth anything. However in the process they undermined themselves. A strong relation can thus be established between the two entities- ‘men’ and ‘women’. Without the phenomenon of domination and repression by men the phenomena of subordination and subsequent emancipation of women would be completely meaningless. Henceforth, if we go by Philip J. Kain’s words, can we substitute his assertion that “the slave is constructed by the master and the master is constructed by the slave” by saying that ‘the woman is constructed by the man and the man is constructed by the woman?’ James Heartfield in his research paper titled “Hegel Dispirited” agrees to this perspective to some extent by stating that- “the explanatory power of the concept of the other has led to it’s broad adoption in cultural and social criticism”. Sartre also expounded such a dialectic in his work Being and Nothingness when describing how the world is altered at the appearance of another person, how the world now appears to orient itself around this other person. De Beauvoir was another thinker who analysed this otherness in the renowned work titled The Second Sex. In fact Beauvoir referred to Hegel’s master-slave dialectic as analogous in many respects to the relationship of a man and a woman. In The Second Sex she opines that “what makes the lot of the wife-servant ungratifying is the division of labor that dooms her wholly to the general and the inessential.” Philip J. Kain also asserts, moved by the Hegelian temper that “the master marginalizes the slave, makes the slave a radical other, pushes the slave outside the bounds of significance. This marginalization of the other may itself turn on and undermine the master.” From ancient era till the contemporary times this statement has been reflected in reality in the relationship between men and women. Women have been marginalized to such an extent that they have even started perceiving this as a naturally occurring phenomenon. Till today as has been illustrated before, no matter how much the world has progressed women continue to be bounded within the shackles of suppression, domination, isolation and male chauvinism. It is thus a known fact that historically, politically, socially, culturally and traditionally women have been relegated to the private sphere and have been bogged down by the overt and covert domination and power exercised by men. However, for one moment if we imagine that the world was bereft of any sort of male domination then in relation to whom or in relation to what the entire paraphernalia of female subjection would be highlighted? Power and domination has thus a very significant characteristic of being relational, that is, it can be exercised only in relation to others and not in isolation. This can truly be identified with the master-slave dialectic as propounded by Hegel. In the next part of my paper I would like to analyse that to what extent multi-culturalism in the contemporary era has influenced the progress of women and whether women irrespective of culture, religion and country have been able to consolidate the spirit of ‘being a woman’. Multi-culturalism can be described as the cultural diversity of communities within the given societies and the policies that promote this diversity. Multi-culturalism has indeed influence the progress of women in several ways. The role women have played in Western culture and societies has undergone radical changes in the last 150 years. The change of role has been more extensive in this period than it was the aggregate in the previous five thousand years. The demands posed by women's emancipation movements starting out from North America were initially the following: (1) in culture and education-equal opportunities with men; (2) in labour-free choice of occupation, equal pay for equal work; (3) in law-full enfranchisement and activity for the wife; annulment of special criminal regulations affecting women; franchise for women; (4) in the social area-recognition of the high social worth of women's labour. Of the demands for equality in the public sphere, primarily those for university education, and for professions and public offices tied to such qualifications, have been realised. As regards franchise, women reaped their first successes in the West Coast in the US around 1920, which was also the time of the first wave of sexual liberation and the weakening of the proscription of extramarital sexual contact between the sexes. Feminism lost some of its momentum between 1930 and 1960. Women today are granted the same rights and opportunities in public life as men are; all professions and occupations are open before them. Even though men are still oriented towards professions promising big money and the feminisation of a profession is equal to a financial degradation, it is has been proved that the average performance of women is better in all areas .Full changes can only be expected if women will occupy key positions in economy and politics. Owing to emancipation in private life, women can do whatever men can; independence and material circumstances may render this not only legally but also actually possible. This process is seen in traditional thought as moral disintegration. However, none of the defenders of multiculturalism and multicultural group rights has adequately addressed the intricate and troubling connections that arise between feminism and multiculturalism. Cultures that discriminate overtly and formally against women by denying them education or the right to vote or hold office and covertly by inflicting tortures upon women do not deserve special rights. Most cultures are patriarchal, then, and many (though not all) of the cultural minorities that claim group rights are more patriarchal than the surrounding cultures. So it is no surprise that the cultural importance of maintaining control over women shouts out to us in the examples given in the literature on cultural diversity and group rights within liberal states. Yet, though it shouts out, it is seldom explicitly addressed. For instance, Susan Mollar Okin in her book Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women points out that Polygamy, forced marriage, punishing women for being raped, differential access for men and women to health care and education, unequal rights of ownership, assembly, and political participation, unequal vulnerability to violence are considered as standard practices and traditions in some parts of the world. Then the pertinent yet confusing questions do arise that do demands for multiculturalism--and certain minority group rights in particular--make them more likely to continue and to spread to liberal democracies? Are there fundamental conflicts between our commitment to gender equity and our increasing desire to respect the customs of minority cultures or religions? In this book, the eminent feminist Susan Moller Okin and fifteen of the world's leading thinkers about feminism and multiculturalism explore these unsettling questions in a provocative, passionate, and illuminating debate. Thus it can be perceived that multi culturalism has effected the status of women both progressively as well as adversely. However, after analyzing the wide ranging positive and negative impacts of multi-culturalism I feel that women irrespective of culture religion and country have still a long way to go before they can finally deliver justice to the independence of the phrase ‘being a woman’ since still today in most cultures and religions in the world women endure savage treatment and a tempestuous way of life. Some survive in this self-centred world, others perish. In the conclusion I would opine that women have definitely treaded the path of progress since ancient times and in the modern globalized age of 21st century they occupy a much uplifted status than before. However, as a woman I feel that there is much behind the curtain of this uplifted status which is appalling and heart-wrenching. Still today directly or indirectly we face questions like ‘what is a woman? A human being? A daughter, a wife or a mother? Defined by men or standing on her own?’ These mind-boggling questions cannot be still answered. Even if for the sake of arguing if we conclude that in the 21st century women are more or less treated equally in all arenas of life it is more than evident that a woman’s place in society and in her family are still conflicted. Even if women are granted voting rights and political power their scope of exercise of power is set within a restriction. Still today women undergo the worst of violent activities in this world. However, to me, a woman is everything. She is sensitive as well as assertive, she is powerful and liberated, she is courageous and dynamic and she is intelligent and rational. She is a world in herself. Transformations are taking place all over the world in the status of women as well as the idea about ‘what is a woman’, as highlighted by Toril Moy, and I feel that both men and women can equally bring about a dynamic change in the entire conception of women, her emancipation and her empowerment in the near future if sincere endeavour can be exercised. I would like to substantiate this statement and end this paper with a verse from the poem ‘The Soul’s Home’ by Stephen Jenner who is an eminent poet especially reflecting women and religion. He quotes- “Unwilling pris’ner in this lower world, Shut up within the crumbling walls of time, Ere long thy mighty wings shall be unfurl’d, To mount and soar, majestic and sublime.”

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Hey Shreethapa Welcome to Worldpulse. Its indeed great to find you hear, & your writeup is amazing. Do get connected and be motivated

U can also be in touch @ https://www.facebook.com/praveenlatasansthan

Regards Bharti Singh Chauhan Founder & Board Member PraveenLata Sansthan

Bharti Singh Chauhan Founder & Board Member Praveen Lata Sansthan (NGO) Rajasthan Steering Committe Member Beyond 2015 World of Difference Program AMbassador ( Vodafone Foundation)

Wow! I am amazed by the scope of your paper, Sreetapa.

I fully agree with this statement: "Thus gender and religion are intrinsically intertwined with each other." I am not sure that the debasement of women existed before the "Biblical" written words. 

This is wonderful to hear: "Khushboo’s struggle as a woman bears testimony to the that despite her tempestuous journey and her sudden transformation from a girl to a woman she now works as a peer educator. She takes initiatives with her colleagues to arrange meetings so that awareness can be spread among the common people about the disastrous effects of early marriages. According to her sister Priyanka, “I hope that not only me but every girl should think of getting married only once she is independent”.

As a former divorced mother and entrepreneur, I love this: "Investing in women entrepreneurs is one of the best ways to achieve economic, financial and social impact. Women reinvest more of their earned income than men in the health and education of the family, increasing the human capital of their community and creating the foundation for long term economic growth."

I am not sure about this: "Although Christianity has been the dominant religion in the west especially USA and feminist theorists have whole-heartedly criticized it as patriarchal and misandric, which has marked American Protestantism for many decades, spiritual leaders have also preached that if there is a major problem in a couple's marriage, whether or not it leads to divorce, it is ultimately the husband's fault and also assumptions like women are more moral and spiritual than men and women are more sensitive to the holy spirit than men. Thus we can decipher that religion and gender are intrinsically intertwined with each other and different religions assign different positions to women where in some places women are liberated whereas in others women are subjugated." If women are "more moral and spiritual than men and women are more sensitive to the holy spirit than men." why are men still the majority of pastors and preachers?

This, I believe to be true: "Study of the Phenomenology of Spirit offers an enumerating discussion on the master-slave dialectic when he expounds that “we are all after all constructed by the other. The slave is constructed by the master and the master is constructed by the slave. And so what is recognition by the other worth? The master did not think the slave’s recognition was worth anything from the start and this ends up undermining the master himself. The slave, on the other hand never expected anything from the master.” The circumstance has been predominantly similar with regard to the inextricable relationship between men and women. Women have always been regarded as slaves to men and have never been allowed the opportunity to voice their opinions. In fact until a long time women were refused to be perceived as individuals. Like the slave in Hegel’s theory men did not think that women’s recognition was worth anything. However in the process they undermined themselves." Toni Morrison's "Beloved" shows how desperate measures are taken to release future generations from slavery.

"I feel that women irrespective of culture religion and country have still a long way to go before they can finally deliver justice to the independence of the phrase ‘being a woman’ since still today in most cultures and religions in the world women endure savage treatment and a tempestuous way of life. Some survive in this self-centred world, others perish." Sadly, we often have no option to breaking up the family in order to prove that males and females can both succeed in non-traditionsl roles. 

This philosophy, I believe, hurts women more than it helps us: "However, to me, a woman is everything. She is sensitive as well as assertive, she is powerful and liberated, she is courageous and dynamic and she is intelligent and rational. She is a world in herself." Men and women, when seen as individual humans, each embody some of the characteristics you ascribe to females.

I am not, and don't wish to be, a world in myself. I have been in relationships with men who exhibit more of the traditional "female" traits than I do. I want to be in partnership with those who balance who I am. 

Thank you for being a blessing upon our shared earth, Sreetapa.

Yvette

Hello, My World Pulse Sister.

In doing a search on WP, filtered for the term “religion,” I have come upon this post.

I am honored to be an ambassador to the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA in October.  As an ambassador, I am tasked with listening to the voices of others regarding religion and spiritual beliefs and practices, and taking these voices to the 80 countries and 10,000 people represented at the convocation.  The purpose of the event, held every five years, is to create harmony among the many spiritual songs sung on our shared earth.

I firmly believe that this group needs to hear from our World Pulse community which includes voices and spiritual beliefs from 180 countries. Please review the attached links and help me to know how we can create a choir of World Pulse voices at the next parliament.

http://www.parliamentofreligions.org/index.cfm

https://www.facebook.com/parliamentofreligions

Continue to be a blessing upon our shared earth.

Thank you.

Yvette

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