“We women, both laywomen and nuns, need to realize and always maintain our intention. The purpose and direction of equal rights is not just for our own narrow self-interest, nor is it only for the purpose of being equal with men in terms of opportunities and circumstances. Rather, equality is most important so that we can benefit our nationality and accomplish the Dharma for sentient beings. This is equal rights in its most authentic and lasting sense. In essence, each of us must have knowledge, bravery, capability, and pure intention within our own being.

“To increase these, we must rouse effort and devote ourselves one hundred percent. We need to prove our own equality to others via a path of skillful means. If we demonstrate knowledge, who can belittle us? But if we don’t, even if we have some rights, what’s the use? As the omniscient Mipham Rinpoche has said, 'If one lacks wisdom and goes to an enemy for wealth and sustenance, power is held by another. It’s like an elephant put to service by the hook. However, gaining knowledge, one can transform problems and enjoy the fruit of happiness in this life — like green shoots in spring.' In that vein, let us have abundant confidence in our way forward in accord with the changing time today around the world. With that in mind, I encourage you to make a concerted effort.

“We are all sisters, close relatives of the same flesh and bone. So please don’t be timid or discouraged. Even if it takes our whole life, if we make effort and direct our minds toward moving forward, then whatever we are able to accomplish will be meaningful. Mipham Rinpoche said,

“ 'If one makes a big effort
to reach as high as the mountain peak
or as low as the ocean depths —
if one has that kind of bravery,
even the deities will be afraid.
There’s no question about such a person.' ”

— The Editors of the Arya Tare Book Series, translated by Padma 'tsho and Sarah H. Jacoby