International Women’s Day Celebrations

Celebration of the role of women in faith with the support of Sikh Welfare Association of Victoria at the Blackburn Sikh Gurdawara, March 2011. It was an exciting opportunity to share, heal and create a greater understanding and respect for all involved. Followed with prayers and a lovely dinner.

Role of Women ForumThe Sikh faith hosted the event and thus elaborated on the role Women have played within the Sikh Faith. Jamel Kaur talked about the historic role and religious input women have had within Sikhism. The forum went from strength to strength with Jaspreet Kaur who talked about the skills learnt from community activities like ‘langar’ (open kitchen) and ‘seva’ (service). These attributes have helped tremendously in the professional world. Attributes like discipline, respect and teamwork. She also discussed the fact that we must find God in all parts of life – work, rest & play.

Mrs Madan added that women have always been respected and loved in Sikh history and faith. Especially in a family environment. Men have always been very protective of us as women.

The power of women has always been prevalent, but the power was somewhat restricted to the household. All we as women lacked was the earning of money, no economic independence, but it has actually increased our responsibility.

The forum was then opened up to the other participants. The Farsi community (Zoroastrian) representative talked about when she first came to Australia (in the 70’s) she worked in the bank, she wasn’t allowed to wear trousers. She figured it was part of ‘Australian Culture.’ The philosophy of the Farsi’s is to come to a country and not spill blood but to integrate into the community and add to the community spirit, like adding milk and sugar to make things thicker and sweeter.

The Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Quaker and Hindu representatives all added to the forum including the youth representatives that were there.

The final word was that there are still issues in all faiths you can’t dress it up and make it all look perfect, but we are all working towards a common equality of all humanity.

The evening finished with prayers and dinner.

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