NEW YORK: A delegation of 25 people from Fo Guang Shan and the Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) in the United States, Canada, Taiwan and Malaysia attended the opening of the 12-day UN Women meeting from March 6.
They exchange views and discuss women issues with the other women leaders from all over the world, non-governmental organizations, as well as women right activists at the forum entitled “Faith and Gender Equality: Empowering Girls and Women in Post–pandemic World” held at the Salvation Army Auditorium on March 8.
This is the fifth time BLIA has attended the opening ceremony of the Status of Women forum since 2018.
At the forum, Fo Guang Shan and BLIA showed their concern for gender equality as well as issues related to women and children.
Ven Jue Cheng, vice secretary-general of Southeast Asia BLIA, said she is not a woman activist but an advocate of equality for all where the vulnerable groups are entitled to fair treatment.
“I see many women from various countries making different requests and complaints of unfair treatments.
“The Fo Guang Shan message is that we will continue to give and try our utmost to provide education in Africa, the Philippines, Brazil and India.
“BLIA offers equality and fairness to all parts of the world.
“Fo Guang Shan has implemented equality long time ago. The late Ven Master Hsing Yun used to tell people that female and male disciples were not any different to him, and he respected all of them.
“We are given the freedom to do our best,” said Ven Jue Cheng.
Ven Jue Cheng said the bhikkhunīs and members of BLIA share humanistic Buddhism with those present at the forum that Buddhism is in line with 17 objectives of the United Nations offering happiness, peace, security, education, culture and charity to the world.
Through the sharing session, the bhikkhunīs showed the world the equality enjoyed by women in Buddhism.
They also shared how Buddhist nuns and female disciples under BLIA had been involved in crisis relief, education and charity works in implementing compassion and equality preached in Buddhism.
BLIA has been a member of the United Nation’s Non-Governmental Organization since 2003.
BLIA members have been attending the annual forums of the Commission on the Status of Women since 2018.