No discussion on Gender Equality: Ajahn Brahm’s paper banned
Thursday, 12 June 2014 00:38
On invitation by the International Committee for the United Nations Day of Vesak, Ajhan Brahmavamso prepared a paper on Gender Equality and it was accepted. However, when he went to Vietnam to present it at the UN Vesak convention last month he was prevented from delivering his speech.
“I was told it has been banned. I knew it was unfair for anyone to do such a thing. Gender Equality is one of the declared UN Millennium Development Goals and my paper had been officially accepted for the convention,” he said at his weekly Dhamma talk referring to the incident.
Ajahn Brahm said he thought about it and used Buddha’s teaching to deal with the situation. “I realised the need for patience in such a situation. If one is committed and dedicated to a cause no force can prevent its progress, he said. “Never give up if you are committed to something,” he advised.
Ajahn Brahm advised that expectation is a cause of suffering.
“The immediate reaction to a situation like the one I faced is to feel frustrated. Frustration sucks away your energy. Frustration leads to anger. Anger leads to depression,” he said.
“Power of a good idea will win at the end. Be patient. Don’t rush,” he stressed.
He reminded that out of the eight UN Millennium Development Goals, Gender Equality is the third. So it was important to discuss it.
Pointing out that the ban of his paper has immediately made it popular so he thanked the UN Committee for banning it. “Their action gave it more power. Now you can see it on the Internet.”
His paper has now been publicly released and it starts with the much talked about incident of discrimination in the USA. In its introduction, he says:
“On December 1 1955, in Montgomery Alabama, an African-American woman refused to obey a bus driver’s order to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger. That simple act of defiance for the cause of social justice became one of the most important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movements in the USA. That woman was Rosa Parks. The United States Congress called her ‘the first lady of civil rights’ and ‘the mother of the freedom movement’. December 1 is commemorated in the US states of California and Ohio as ‘Rosa Parks Day’. Rosa Parks became a Buddhist before she passed away in 2005 aged 92. One can speculate that this female icon against discrimination chose Buddhism because it is well suited to advancing social justice issues.
“In this paper, I will discuss how Buddhism may advance the particular social justice issue of Millennium Development Goal No. 3: Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. I will focus on the need for Theravada Buddhism’s current male leadership to clearly demonstrate its own commitment to MDG 3 through acceptance of the bhikkhuni ordination. Only then can it use its considerable influence to make our world more fair – one where people are judged on their character and not on their gender.”
The paper titled ‘Theravada Buddhism and MDG 3: Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women in Theravada Buddhism’ is on the website www.bswa.org.
Ajahn to deliver sermons on Poson today in Colombo
Ajahn Braham will be in Sri Lanka during Poson and will deliver several Dhamma talks. He will address senior executives on ‘Managing for Richer Results’ on Poson Poya day – Thursday 12 June at 9 a.m. at the SLFI auditorium and will deliver a talk at the Maharagama Dharmayatanaya at 5 p.m. He will conduct a full day program at the BMICH on Sunday 15 June. There will be Dhamma talks over several TV channels including ‘The Buddhist’.