The following is the second half of the introduction to the document:

When viewed in its broader context, the discrimination against women in present day society is one of many symptoms of an ailing social order. We live in a world with rampant conflict and injustice. Individuals and groups compete with one another in pursuit of narrow self-interests. Insecurity and violence are common place. For the most part, dominant social institutions, structures, and processes have not been set up in ways that effectively serve the common good and when people attempt to work within these systems to advance the common good they often face systemic constraints or outright political challenges. What is needed is a profound questioning of the assumptions underpinning the social systems and world views that enable and perpetuate these conditions. Otherwise the betterment of humankind and the advancement of civilization in both its spiritual and material dimensions will continue to elude humanity’s best efforts. Our aim cannot be only to open room for women to participate in the affairs of society within the present social order. Rather, women and men must work shoulder to shoulder as they apply spiritual principles to the construction of a new social order characterized by justice, peace and collective prosperity.

Building social institutions and developing social practices that advance the equality of women and men, and promote the principles of unity and justice, will demand profound changes in the minds and hearts of people and in the structures of society. Individuals and groups working towards this goal may wish to consult and reflect on some of the questions and challenges that arise as they strive to apply these principles to different aspects of their individual and collective lives.

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