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When women arise, no force can stop them: Amma on International Women’s Day 

Amma embraces a man
Just like the two wings of a bird, men and women have an equal role to play in society.

Key Points

  • Amma was invited to give the opening address for Femina Vox: Voices for Women’s Rights. Dr Guila Clara Kessous, UNESCO Artist for Peace, directed the gathering.
  • Amma expressed that men are still asleep when it comes to gender equality. Hence, it is up to women to come forward and act with their intrinsic strength—the power of Universal Motherhood.  
  • She added women should remember their dharma—their inherent responsibilities—as they move forward. Then, no force can stop them. The world of fear will disappear and a world of compassion will take birth. 

For this year’s International Women’s Day, Amma delivered the opening address for Femina Vox: Voices for Women’s Rights. The free online forum was held under the High Patronage of UNESCO and the Global Peace Education Network. Dr Guila Clara Kessous, UNESCO Artist for Peace, directed the gathering. She said she immediately thought of inviting Amma, as Amma is giving so much love to the world.

Excerpts from Amma’s address 

Just like the two wings of a bird, men and women have an equal role to play in society. Only when this truth is accepted will society become harmonious. Now in society, women have awakened, but men have not. So, family life is in a worse crisis.  

Women have to give birth, raise children, go to work like their husbands, obey their senior officers, obey their husbands, and take care of their mother-in-law and the rest of the family members. It is very difficult to manage everything. Amma is not blaming anyone.  

In the olden days, men hunted in the forest, and the women stayed at home and cared for the children. This was their livelihood. Hunting is a physical act, making them physically strong and mentally sharp. It is these genes that predominate in their bodies today.  

Women have a different set of genes. Women only need to awaken their inherent strength and innate capabilities and come forward. Men find it more of a challenge because the genes they have inherited over the generations make them feel that they are the giver and that women are subservient.  

Man feels that he is the officer, and she is the servant. This is the culture in which they have been raised—the deeply ingrained culture of many preceding generations. It will not be easy for them to make a sudden change. It is very subtle, hence very powerful. We may not see it in the open, but it is subtly present in men and powerful.  

Men are still asleep. They are unaware, and they still consider it their right. Men had ‘cultivated’ women like bonsai trees confined to a pot, using them solely for their own enjoyment.  

Women are not given equal jobs or pay in many areas—be it in the arts or any other field. And this male dominance is still there in many countries. It is certainly a great loss to society.  

Women need to awaken and arise. Women have come so far—even in places where they were not allowed the right to vote. They have reached so far, and they can go much further. 

They must have the attitude, “All this strength and skill is inherent in me, so I will overcome and move forward and forward.”  

Women’s equality is not a gift conferred upon her by men; it is her natural right. But women have become weak because they lack self-confidence.  

In Amma’s eyes, they are shakti-svarupini—they have that universal power as their very nature. Even if the tank is full, the care won’t start if the battery is dead. And only if the car starts can it move forward using up the diesel in the tank. 

We have the skill and the strength; we only need to awaken our self-confidence—our faith in ourselves. Then, we will be able to move forward and utilise our talents. So, what women need is self-confidence.  

Even if the pen has ink, the ink dries up if we do not write with it. So, women themselves should come forward. Women should themselves awaken the femininity within them. Women should not imitate men; they should awaken femininity within.  

If men have arm muscles, women should grow their heart muscles. Women should strengthen their heart muscles. Looking at it in this manner, women are shakti—the universal power and energy.  

They have the power within them. They will be able to awaken. They are the ones who should come forward. Their inherent motherhood is the source of their shakti—their power.  

Women should discern and accept the maternal nature within them. The womb, conception, and giving birth, and her inborn nature are the compassionate blessings of God. 

Even if they decide not to lead a married life or to have children, maternal qualities—love, compassion, patience, forgiveness, and forbearance—are inherent and natural for women. If women awaken and act with the strength born of her maternal qualities, the world will change for the better.  

Women should strive to stand on an equal footing and gain equal rights with men in society. But this should never come at the cost of sacrificing our inherent maternal strength. If women awaken and act with their inherent maternal power, the world of fear will disappear and a world of compassion will take birth.  

Women should remember their dharma—their inherent responsibilities—when they move forward in their field of action. Then, no force can stop them. The world will bow down before them. Transformation will naturally happen.  

On this occasion, when we celebrate International Women’s Day, while we emphasise gaining our rights in society, Amma feels that the same importance should be given to awakening the power of motherhood inherent in women.  

A mother and her embrace are not two. An embrace is the physical manifestation of the motherly love that fills the mother’s heart. Amma’s love, endless affection, and her embrace are always with her children. 

Amma is Chancellor of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. The university holds India’s first UNESCO Chair on Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment.

The trailer for Femina Vox features the many speakers from around the world who took part.

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