Women on the UHJ

Jul 2017
483
Olympia, WA, USA
Does anyone have any ideas what I can say to a nonbeliever who thinks that the Baha'i Faith is harmful and anti-human because it excludes women from the UHJ? He says we exclude half the human population from leadership roles but of course he does not understand that women are only excluded from the UHJ because he is in such a huff and he has made up his mind that the Baha'i Faith is no good based upon this one thing. :eek:
 
Sep 2010
4,589
Normanton, Far North West Queensland
There are no Leadership Roles in the Baha'i Faith. There are many other elected positions as a body and appointed positions in the arms of Learned, that women are appointed to serve upon.

To me this is a bounty, it frees women to serve, free of the current longer obligation on the Universal House of Justice.

I think it will be a simple explanation, like a person can have no desire to serve on the Universal House of Justice. Thus women do not have to have this battle on mind.

Or even more simple, it is Law. We now know that God sees both Men and Women as equals, we are distinguished in the eyes of God by our efforts to serve.

Only in the future will the reason be obvious. At this time there will be no explanation you can offer that will appease minds that wish to see it as inequality.

Regards Tony
 

Jcc

Mar 2013
577
Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
We can note that the Universal House of Justice has only 9 members, whereas there are nearly 200 National Assemblies each with 9 members including women, and something like 10,000 or more Local Assemblies, plus the Counsellors, Auxuliary Board Members and Assistants, Area Teaching Committee members, and many other positions of leadership and service. Women are at the forefront of leadership throughout the Baha'i world.

In light of that fact, it is a mystery why Baha'u'llah designated the Universal House of Justice as being composed of only men, and no one knows the answer. There are many mysteries of life that Baha'u'llah has unlocked and provided the means to understand, including endorsement of scientific investigation of the natural world. There is always more that we do not yet understand and that can keep us humble, but also striving to reach higher levels of understanding. Furthermore, although Baha'u'llah taught the equality of men and women, the world has a long way to go to catch up, and we need to evaluate every aspect of society and relations within the family to ensure that they reflect that equality. Having the one institution composed of only men can encourage us to reflect deeply on these relations.
 
Jul 2017
483
Olympia, WA, USA
There are no Leadership Roles in the Baha'i Faith. There are many other elected positions as a body and appointed positions in the arms of Learned, that women are appointed to serve upon.

To me this is a bounty, it frees women to serve, free of the current longer obligation on the Universal House of Justice.

I think it will be a simple explanation, like a person can have no desire to serve on the Universal House of Justice. Thus women do not have to have this battle on mind.
Thanks Tony, what you say is true, but I think this person will just consider that a rationalization. So be it. I am tired of fighting with nonbelievers, and I won't do it anymore. Live and learn. This happened because I returned to a forum I had been posting on where most there are nonbelievers and they are antagonistic to the Faith. That is why you have not seen much of me on the forum we are both on, because I do not have time for both forums, but this might not be a permanent arrangement. No other Baha'is have been willing to go on this forum I am on except one, and she never talks about Baha'i, she just chats, so nobody bothers her.

Another way of looking at it is that the UHJ is not a political position of power, it is a position of service, so as you said, women can be of service in many capacities.

Or even more simple, it is Law. We now know that God sees both Men and Women as equals, we are distinguished in the eyes of God by our efforts to serve.

Only in the future will the reason be obvious. At this time there will be no explanation you can offer that will appease minds that wish to see it as inequality.
As Baha'is, WE know that, but I am quite sure it won't be good enough for this person. The beauty of it is that I don't care anymore. All their attacks just add fuel to the fire that makes the Faith grow stronger, as Abdu'l-Baha said.... little do they know it. Moreover, it is not a fire they are going to put out because God started it. :D:D:D As such, they best just fasten their seat belts or they can just get off the plane and not talk to me... :rolleyes:
 
Jul 2017
483
Olympia, WA, USA
We can note that the Universal House of Justice has only 9 members, whereas there are nearly 200 National Assemblies each with 9 members including women, and something like 10,000 or more Local Assemblies, plus the Counsellors, Auxuliary Board Members and Assistants, Area Teaching Committee members, and many other positions of leadership and service. Women are at the forefront of leadership throughout the Baha'i world.
Thanks so much... Is it okay if I take what you said and post it? It IS information I think people need to have in order to gain perspective. As I told Tony, it probably won't make any difference to this person I am posting to, but it could benefit someone else. Once some people get something set in their minds, it usually does not change. That is called ego. :D

In light of that fact, it is a mystery why Baha'u'llah designated the Universal House of Justice as being composed of only men, and no one knows the answer. There are many mysteries of life that Baha'u'llah has unlocked and provided the means to understand, including endorsement of scientific investigation of the natural world. There is always more that we do not yet understand and that can keep us humble, but also striving to reach higher levels of understanding. Furthermore, although Baha'u'llah taught the equality of men and women, the world has a long way to go to catch up, and we need to evaluate every aspect of society and relations within the family to ensure that they reflect that equality. Having the one institution composed of only men can encourage us to reflect deeply on these relations.
Thanks again... As you probably know, nonbelievers do not like mysteries, and they normally do not accept them. That is one reason why they are nonbelievers. :rolleyes: They also do not like the "idea" of Prophets that know more than they do. :rolleyes: Humility is not the keynote. :D The benefit to me talking to them is that I have had to learn courtesy and humility because the more rudeness and arrogance I encounter, the more I strive to be just the opposite. As such, one benefit to me is character development; I cannot say what benefit there is to those I post to since I do not speak for other people as they often speak for me, telling me how I think and what my motives are. ;)
 
Oct 2014
1,807
Stockholm
There is a lot of humour in those leadership discussions. I cannot keep myself from laughing when I read statements about Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi having usurped the leadership positions. Some position to strive for! Shoghi Effendi went into a deep depression on hearing about his appointment.

Sitting on the UHJ as something to strive for! Oh dear! Lucky women!

And poor world! What do we still have to go through, in order to reach some insight? I find it hard to live and see all the lunacy surrounding us - all those senseless words.

gnat
 
Last edited:
Jul 2017
483
Olympia, WA, USA
There is a lot of humour in those leadership discussions. I cannot keep myself from laughing when I read statements about Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi having usurped the leadership positions. Some position to strive for! Shoghi Effendi went into a deep depression on hearing about his appointment.

Sitting on the UHJ as something to strive for! Oh dear! Lucky women!

And poor world! What do we still have to go through, in order to reach some insight? I find it hard to live and see all the lunacy surrounding us - all those senseless words.
Thanks for your response. There is also a lot of illogic in these discussions, assuming that the Baha'i Faith discriminates against and abuses women simply because women cannot sit on the UHJ. But there is usually no way you can reason with people who think they already know everything about everything. It is usually an emotional reaction based upon some past experiences, in this case because of having been a Christian and having had a mother who was abused by his father, and drawing a parallel that is not there. :rolleyes:

Indeed, lunacy is all around us... The only safe haven is the Revelation of Baha'u'llah and nonbelievers want to take it away from us and make us into free thinkers. NO THANKS. I can be a Baha'i and still think for myself. :D
 
Jun 2014
1,096
Wisconsin
Does anyone have any ideas what I can say to a nonbeliever who thinks that the Baha'i Faith is harmful and anti-human because it excludes women from the UHJ? He says we exclude half the human population from leadership roles but of course he does not understand that women are only excluded from the UHJ because he is in such a huff and he has made up his mind that the Baha'i Faith is no good based upon this one thing. :eek:
So here's a thought I return to frequently.

Only men can be elected.

But both men and women vote.

While I have seen no statistics around Baha'i elections and participation, in most other types of democratic action, women tend to more active and more likely to vote than men, statistically speaking.

So there is a fairly good chance that more Baha'i women vote than Baha'i men to decide the leadership of the Faith.

So while the members of the UHJ may be made up of men, the votes that got them there were likely the votes of women. And if gender voting patterns seen other places are also seen in the Faith (though, again, there is no survey or study to show this), then the interests of women are more represented by our elected leadership than the interests of men.

And while I can't say any of the above conclusively, as the statistics I would need to know simply don't exist, I did find one interesting survey out there. Despite that one restriction on leadership, an interesting fact is that the percentage of Baha'i elected leadership positions held by women is actually greater than the percentage of elected leadership positions held by women in most modern nations.
 

ams

Nov 2019
52
Thailand
Hi Trailblazer
Does anyone have any ideas what I can say to a nonbeliever who thinks that the Baha'i Faith is harmful and anti-human because it excludes women from the UHJ? He says we exclude half the human population from leadership roles but of course he does not understand that women are only excluded from the UHJ because he is in such a huff and he has made up his mind that the Baha'i Faith is no good based upon this one thing. :eek:
Even in my opinion... that the "no-women rule in the UHJ"... is a deep contradiction to the teaching of equality of men and women.

but i would never go so far to say that because of this... the "Baha'i Faith is harmful and anti-human".

That statement is just completely inbalanced... very much more than this no-women-exception in the UHJ.

Let us not forget: The Baha'i movement accept everywhere else men and women in each position.

This is still a very very great progress in the abrahamic religions.

Imho: All should adopt this very true and very important teaching.

And... in my personal opinion... even the UHJ itself.

Let me explain:

Did you notice that, for example, in Islam there are also arguments why women can not be an Imam?
Or, why men and women has to be seperated in the moshe.

Or... in the roman catolic church, why women can not be an offical priest of christ?

They all have some arguments... pointing to some verses in the scriptures....
why (allegedly) Jesus... or Mohammed... do not allow women this or that.

But if you study those verses and their arguments based on it... as much and deep as possible... they are all out of context.

The same with:
The House of Justice, however, according to the explicit text of the Law of God, is confined to men; this for a wisdom of the Lord God's, which will ere long be made manifest as clearly as the sun at high noon.
There is a really good and deep work in which context this statement was made.
The Service of Women on the Institutions of the Baha'i Faith
I can only very suggest to study this work.
Then much will be clearer.

In short:
This statement was not made about the Universal House of Justice, but of a local House of Justice in Chicago where there was a twist why there are only men.

After some years, the twist was cleared and women where allowed by Abdu'l-Baha.

This is the short version... please read the full version because it goes much deeper and also explains how it cames to the "no-women-rule" in the UHJ.

In my eyes... this rule is based on a wrong interpretation... on an out-of-context-interpretation... of the above statement from Abdu'l-Baha.

Greetings.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Trailblazer
Sep 2010
4,589
Normanton, Far North West Queensland
Hi Trailblazer

Even in my opinion... that the "no-women rule in the UHJ"... is a deep contradiction to the teaching of equality of men and women.

but i would never go so far to say that because of this... the "Baha'i Faith is harmful and anti-human".

That statement is just completely balanced... very much more than this no-women-exception in the UHJ.

Let us not forget: The Baha'i movement accept everywhere else men and women in each position.

This is still a very very great progress in the abrahamic religions.

Imho: All should adopt this very true and very important teaching.

And... in my personal opinion... even the UHJ itself.

Let me explain:

Did you notice that, for example, in Islam there are also arguments why women can not be an Imam?
Or, why men and women has to be seperated in the moshe.

Or... in the roman catolic church, why women can not be an offical priest of christ?

They all have some arguments... pointing to some verses in the scriptures....
why (allegedly) Jesus... or Mohammed... do not allow women this or that.

But if you study those verses and their arguments based on it... as much and deep as possible... they are all out of context.

The same with:


There is a really good and deep work in which context this statement was made.......
I can only very suggest to study this work.
Then much will be clearer.

In short:
This statement was not made about the Universal House of Justice, but of a local House of Justice in Chicago where there was a twist why there are only men.

After some years, the twist was cleared and women where allowed by Abdu'l-Baha.

This is the short version... please read the full version because it goes much deeper and also explains how it cames to the "no-women-rule" in the UHJ.

In my eyes... this rule is based on a wrong interpretation... on an out-of-context-interpretation... of the above statement from Abdu'l-Baha.

Greetings.
Hello ams. I will be firm and clear with my observations.

The provided link is not good material to read, I see it contains misinformation and it was not approved.

As a Baha'i, there is only one position on this subject and that is now what is offered by the elected body of the Universal House of Justice.

There is ample advice on this topic from the authorised sources.

Regards Tony
 
  • Like
Reactions: Trailblazer