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Editor, The Beacon:

Joan Carter correctly argues in the May 11-17 edition of The Beacon that the United States economy has benefited from the expansion of women’s opportunities, beginning in the 1950s and ’60s, to work and to control their role in reproduction. She also laments the attempts by “legislatures, often in less prosperous parts of the country, … to restrict the range of options for many American women,” and notes that women in those circumstances “should be afforded the most options for shaping their own lives.”

Attempts to limit the development of women are indeed, as Ms. Carter says, “shortsighted,” but in truth, they are worse than that. Women in the role of mothers are the first educators of the next generation, and thus play a critical role in the progress of humanity.

Bahá’í writings say, “Furthermore, the education of woman is more necessary and important than that of man, for woman is the trainer of the child from its infancy. If she be defective and imperfect herself, the child will necessarily be deficient; therefore, imperfection of woman implies a condition of imperfection in all mankind, for it is the mother who rears, nurtures and guides the growth of the child. If the educator be incompetent, the educated will be correspondingly lacking. This is evident and incontrovertible. Could the student be brilliant and accomplished if the teacher is illiterate and ignorant? The mothers are the first educators of mankind; if they be imperfect, alas for the condition and future of the race.”

Tom Armistead



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