The human body analogy presented in the document helps to illustrate what equality means. Recognizing that the human body is made up of millions of cells, each with various forms and functions to perform allows us to appreciate that the differences between women and men serve a purpose. This analogy is used in the document in order to illustrate the concept of unity in diversity and how the principle of oneness can govern social organization.
We can also use this analogy in thinking of how to work for gender equality. In the body, each cell or organ has a purpose to fulfill and when one section of the body is not working, it impacts the mobility and health of the entire body. When one part of the body is not allowed to develop, the other parts of the body likewise cannot operate at maximum capacity. We see this in our current social order. The rampant spread of violence, hunger and disease are the result of an unequal world incapable of utilizing all of its human resources. Rather, large segments of the population, often women, are completely shut out from participating in the efforts to advance society.
Often times in order to combat this, the area of the advancement of women is one in which women are at the forefront and are often hesitant to allow men to participate. Yet this only perpetuates the idea of the movement towards equality as being a power struggle between women and men. It also perpetuates the idea that women are seeking to advance themselves to the same status as men, when in actuality we know that men have not finished advancing either. There has to be recognition that the equality of women and men has benefits for both genders; it’s a symbiotic end goal. It also requires the involvement of both genders precisely so that it does not deteriorate into a power struggle. A power struggle will only result in a debilitated human body.
We have to recognize that in order to see the equality between women and men in practice we must have both women and men actively working towards this goal because each has something to contribute and the success of one is dependent on the success of the other.
This illustration of the heart helps to demonstrate the complexity of the human body. Without all its parts working together, the heart could not function properly.
Illustration by Kimia Kline.