GBC Resolutions Pertaining to the Position of Women in ISKCON
By Madhusudani Radha devi dasi
Reposted November 29, 2002
CHAKRA (May 2, 2000) - The following historic resolutions from this year's GBC meetings underscore that the ISKCON leadership both regrets the prior treatment of women in ISKCON and is now trying to rectify these past mistakes. Please note that all temples must implement the laws in section 619 below unless a special deal is worked out with the Executive Committee (i.e. Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu, Ramai Swami, Giridhari Swami, and Bir Krishna Goswami).
HOLY PLACES AND SPIRITUAL COMMUNITIES
Women in ISKCON
WHEREAS, the Women's Ministry presentation on March 1st, 2000 to the GBC Body brought a clearer understanding of the mistakes of the past and the need to provide equal and full opportunity for devotional service for all devotees in ISKCON, regardless of gender, and
WHEREAS, it is clearly following in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada that all people are welcome to join Lord Caitanya's sankirtana movement and are capable of developing full love of God, and
WHEREAS, it is our belief that many of the social issues that confront us are exacerbated because the voice of our women, who are the mothers and daughters of our Krsna conscious family, have been hushed and stifled due to misinterpretation of our Vaisnava philosophy, and thus the human and interpersonal needs of our devotees have been minimized,
THEREFORE IT IS RESOLVED THAT:
501 [STATEMENT] 1. the members of the Governing Body Commission of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness offer their humble apologies to the women of Srila Prabhupada's society who, because of our own shortcomings and those of the Society, have suffered due to a lack of protection, support, facility and appreciation for their service, devotion and vast contributions to the Society,
2.[ACTION] All GBC Body members and other leaders shall hold istagosthis in each of their respective temples to establish the priority of providing equal facilities, full encouragement and genuine care and protection for the women members of ISKCON. Also, separate meetings should be held with the leaders and women of each temple to address the women's needs and concerns,
3.[GUIDELINE] All GBC Zonal Secretaries, Temple Presidents and other leaders are requested, in coordination with the Women's Ministry, to invite senior devotee women, especially Srila Prabhupada's direct disciples, to visit their temples to provide their association and thus help in training younger devotees.
A. All ISKCON temples are to allow all qualified devotees, regardless of gender, to speak on Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, etc. during the regular temple class.
B. All ISKCON temples designate half of the temple room area, divided in the center from the altar, for the ladies.
C. If the management in a particular temple feels it is unable to implement these proposals, the Executive Committee will appoint a small team of senior devotees, including women, to sensitively review the particular local situation.