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Baha'i Q and A: Why educate girls?

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Q: Baha'is promote universal education but also say that if a family can educate only some of their children, girls should be educated before boys. Why is this? A: The Baha'i Teachings make it clear that priority should go to the education of women and girls--in part because women are responsible for raising the next generation and "it is through educated mothers that the benefits of knowledge can be most effectively and rapidly diffused throughout society." From the Baha'i Writings on the equality of women and men: "The world of humanity is possessed of two wings: the male and the female. So long as these two wings are not equivalent in strength, the bird will not fly. Until womankind reaches the same degree as man, until she enjoys the same arena of activity, extraordinary attainment for humanity will not be realized; humanity cannot wing its way to heights of real attainment. When the two wings or parts become equivalent in strength, enjoying the same prerogatives, the flight of man will be exceedingly lofty and extraordinary. Therefore, woman must receive the same education as man and all inequality be adjusted. Thus, imbued with the same virtues as man, rising through all the degrees of human attainment, women will become the peers of men, and until this equality is established, true progress and attainment for the human race will not be facilitated." ~ 'Abdu'l-Baha