From woman, man is born; within woman, man is conceived; to woman he is engaged and married.
Woman becomes his friend; through woman, the future generations come.
When his woman dies, he seeks another woman; to woman he is bound.
So why call her bad? From her, kings are born.
From woman, woman is born; without woman, there would be no one at all.
O Nanak, only the True Lord is without a woman.
That mouth which praises the Lord continually is blessed and beautiful.
O Nanak, those faces shall be radiant in the Court of the True Lord. ||2||
So, I’ve gotten several phone calls and texts over the last two week from Kaurs I know wanting to talk to me about disrespect from Singhs within our Panth. That on top of the things I’ve been seeing on social media have driven me to write this post.
Ya know one of the things that brought me to Sikhi is the concept of equality for all, no caste, color, gender, nationality etc. Everyone and everything is Ek but I’m starting to get the impression that we don’t practice what we preach or advertise to everyone else. How do we preach equality and respect for everyone if we don’t even practice it from within our own Sangat?
The above Shabad speaks to the importance that Guru Nanak place on women in the Panth and the absolute respect that should be shown to them. Some of the things I have read on social media and been told to me by Kaurs I know gives me cause for alarm. The Akahl Takht recently asked that Singhs in India protect the women from Kashmir as it was believed that these women weren’t safe traveling through India in the current climate. It’s a sad cultural statement when women can’t travel freely without fear but it’s admirable that the Sikhs recognize it. Trust me when I say I know it’s epidemic around the world and in all cultures but our Guru orders us to be and do better! What disturbs me even more is that we have these same issues within our own Sangats and homes.
We have initiatives within the western Sikh communities that demand our governments give equal rights and treatment for all people including women but it appears we haven’t done our own house cleaning in a lot of ways. These initiatives that spend so much time demanding no hate and equality for all from external organizations and governments need to assist our community with the same issues.
I agree that we should protect the women in our lives, I believe in some old fashioned way that it is our duty to do so. I also believe that we should be empowering the women in our lives to be strong and independent. We should be encouraging them to take a much larger role in Sangat, in the Gurdwara and in the world.