On International Women’s Day 2013, we reflect on the various themes adopted around the world for March 8. Canada’s theme, “Working Together: Engaging Men to End Violence against Women” echoes the United Nations’ theme of “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women.” In addition to joining these efforts, WSO would like to take this opportunity to celebrate and take inspiration from Sikhi’s strong egalitarian foundation.
From its very inception, the Sikh faith has blessed upon us the knowledge that we are all created equal and therefore should be treated equally. Though there are numerous historical references available to us demonstrating the commitment our Sikh Gurus and ancestors had to the principle of equality, simply recalling such examples will not change our lives today.
While violence against women, deeply and profoundly affects and concerns all women worldwide, it is as much a man’s issue as it is a woman’s. For this reason, both women and men must educate and support each other in order to eliminate the occurrence of violence against women.
Given the prevalence of violence against women, it is our responsibility, as Sikhs and as human beings, to ensure that the principle of equality for all does not remain simply that, a matter of principle, but rather becomes the bedrock of our daily way of life. We need to start considering, from an equality perspective, our daily actions, decisions, attitudes, and considerations with regards to one another.