How To Implement Gender Equality among Sikhs

Guru Nanak Sahib spoke highly in favor of the female gender and of course in all their Bani, Guru Nanak and all rest of the Guru Sahibs preached and implemented Gender equality among their followers. Whenever Sikh speak in the Interfaith groups the gender equality in SIkhi is highlighted.

It is a shame that Gurbani message is read but ignored by significant number of the Sikh community members and even at the Gurduara Sahibs.  Common house holds are male dominated and the wife has to bear mental and sometimes physical abuse at the hands of the husband.  The kids watching hate this part and develop negative feelings towards their family. No wonder Sikh girls abroad do not want to marry a Sikh boy and there are other consequences.

When youth the observe, gender inequality in even in Gurduara, they of course shy away from Sikhi.  

Global Sikh Council very concerned about this situation among the Sikh community organized. A Seminar of worldwide Sikhi scholars and intellectuals, on this subject initiated its efforts and organized a Seminar on this subject. It was held in two sessions on September 16, 2022.

Sikhi Scholars and intellectuals from world over were invited to participate in the Seminar Some twentyfive individuals from various parts of the world presented their views and suggested various ways to address the situation.

The views of the Scholars were collected and organized and ordered by the ease of implementation. Included below is the list of proposed solutions.

    Equality must be practised at home.

    • All festivals like Lohri (ਲੋਹੜੀ) and Rakhri (ਰੱਖੜੀ), if celebrated, should be gender equal.
    • Inheritance must be equally divided amongst the children, no special dowry etc. (Daj ਦਾਜ & Vari ਵਰੀ).
    • Traditionally, roles of males and females are complementary and equally important. No role is superior or inferior.
        • Gurmat (ਗੁਰਮੱਤ) philosophy should be taught to our younger generations.
        • Eliminate female foeticide.
        •  Women must empower themselves to play an equal role and responsibility in all affairs.
        • They should not involve themselves in rituals like, Karva Chouth (ਕਰਵਾ ਚੌਥ) and Rakhri (ਰੱਖੜੀ), which instill inferiority in them.
    • Promote Sikh Women role models.
    • Gender equality must be preached and practiced in all religious gatherings/Gurdwaras/Sikh Institutions.
    • Women should be encouraged to take on the responsibility of Gurdwara Managements, Parcharak (ਪ੍ਰਚਾਰਕ) and Ragis (ਰਾਗੀ) in large numbers.
    • Purpose of wedding/spiritual explanation of Lavans (ਲਾਂਵਾਂ) must be shared with bride, groom, and all family members, before the ceremony.
      • Both bride and groom must be treated equal in all activities.
      • The last name of the bride should be left as “Kaur” and all children should be named Singh and Kaur so no need for taking father’s or mother’s names.
      • Encourage women towards financial independence and career opportunities.

        •  

      Equality must be practised at home.

      • All festivals like Lohri (ਲੋਹੜੀ) and Rakhri (ਰੱਖੜੀ), if celebrated, should be gender equal.
      • Inheritance must be equally divided amongst the children, no special dowry etc. (Daj ਦਾਜ & Vari ਵਰੀ).
      • Traditionally, roles of males and females are complementary and equally important. No role is superior or inferior.
          • Gurmat (ਗੁਰਮੱਤ) philosophy should be taught to our younger generations.
          • Eliminate female foeticide.
          •  Women must empower themselves to play an equal role and responsibility in all affairs.
          • They should not involve themselves in rituals like, Karva Chouth (ਕਰਵਾ ਚੌਥ) and Rakhri (ਰੱਖੜੀ), which instill inferiority in them.
      • Promote Sikh Women role models.
      • Gender equality must be preached and practiced in all religious gatherings/Gurdwaras/Sikh Institutions.
      • Women should be encouraged to take on the responsibility of Gurdwara Managements, Parcharak (ਪ੍ਰਚਾਰਕ) and Ragis (ਰਾਗੀ) in large numbers.
      • Purpose of wedding/spiritual explanation of Lavans (ਲਾਂਵਾਂ) must be shared with bride, groom, and all family members, before the ceremony.
        • Both bride and groom must be treated equal in all activities.
        • The last name of the bride should be left as “Kaur” and all children should be named Singh and Kaur so no need for taking father’s or mother’s names.
        • Encourage women towards financial independence and career opportunities.

        •  

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      Global Sikh Council (GSC) is the voice of the Sikhs worldwide, registered as tax exempt charitable not for profit organization registered in the state of Georgia US. GSC represents the Sikh Community across the globe to various Governmental and non-Governmental entities worldwide.