Role of Women
Men dominated society in Jesus’ time – although they respected women highly – the woman’s role in the family was immensely respected.
Christian attitudes to Women
Some Christians believe that this approach should still be maintained; others believe that this is too old-fashioned for today.
‘there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles, between slaves and free men, between men and women; you are all one in union with Christ Jesus.’ (Galatians 3:28)
Many Christians believe that men and women have different skills and roles, but are of equal value.
There is some debate about whether or not women should be allowed a significant role in church.
1 Corinthians 14:34 – ‘The women should keep quiet in the meetings. They are not allowed to speak… they are not to be in charge.’
- As long as a person can lead a church it doesn’t matter what gender they are.
- Jesus’ world was very different to our own.
- Women are actually better than men at some aspects of the job e.g. empathy.
- Jesus chose men, not women to carry on the faith as apostles.
- When a priest is at the altar he is representing Jesus, a man.
Hindu attitude to Women
"The father protects the woman in childhood, the husband protects her in youth, the children protect her in old age, a woman should never be independent." (Laws of Manu)
Traditionally, women are seen as mothers and homemakers.
The ideals of how men and women should treat each other come from deities such as Rama and Sita and Krishna and Radha.
Modern attitudes are changing as movements such as ISKCON and The Swaminarayan Hindu Mission treat both genders equally in religious and secular life.
Good treatment of women is seen as a blessing in the Laws of Manu even though only men can perform funeral rites, receive the sacred thread or be priests.