Film launch – ​Glimpses into the Spirit of Gender Equality

By Saphira Rameshfar, Representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations

In commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Baha’i International Community (BIC) has launched a ​film​ titled ​Glimpses into the Spirit of Gender Equality​.

The film seeks to instill a sense of hope and optimism at this time when the international community recommits its efforts towards the vital requirement of gender equality. In doing so, the film reflects on the Anniversary’s significance as well as its impact at the international and grassroots levels.

The BIC’s aim in creating such a film was to showcase the spirit of diverse initiatives that have steadily contributed to both structural and cultural transformation at the local level in creating more equitable societies. Specifically, the film highlights advances in gender equality in communities in Colombia, India, Malaysia, the United States, and Zambia and explores conditions key to such advances.

The film focuses on the importance of an educational process that assists individuals to develop along physical, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions. It explores how these educational processes can contribute to a shift in attitudes, from competition to collaboration, from oppression to empowerment. The film highlights how these processes must be reinforced in all spheres of an individual’s life, whether in the home or through the efforts of the community. In doing so, it explores the role of men and boys in breaking down stereotypes and advancing gender equality, as well as the role of true religion in breaking down prejudicial barriers, highlighting the dignity of all and bringing together diverse actors to work together for the betterment of their societies.

The film offers a glimpse into how change is beginning to take root at the level of culture in certain communities, through conscious action, as well as glimmerings of what might characterize a gender-equal future.

Ultimately, the film seeks to convey that the equality of men and women is a facet of human reality and not just a condition to be achieved for the common good. That which makes human beings human—their inherent dignity and nobility—is neither male nor female. The search for meaning, for purpose, for community; the capacity to love, to create, to persevere, has no gender. Such an assertion has profound implications for the organization of every aspect of human society.

It is hoped that this film will be drawn on as a resource at all levels, to spark conversation and stimulate ideas on how to move forward together in advancing gender equality. The BIC invites you to explore the themes raised in this film and to consider what practical steps we can all take in our lives to bring about the vision for a gender equal future. You are welcome to share feedback and reflections by writing to ​glimpses@bic.org​.

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Additional resources:

●  Link to ​film trailer​.

●  Web page​ for the ​Glimpses into the Spirit of Gender Equality​ film featuring separate stories of the communities visited during filming.

●  News story​ of the BIC’s film premier.

●  Article​ about the film showcased on medium.com.