ERIC Number: ED174516
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr-17
Reference Count: 0
The Rights of Women in Church and Society.
Wright, Helen M.
The document examines the rights of women in the church and in society, with emphasis on attitudes of the American Catholic Church. Christian educators should acknowledge the issue as a reality in today's world, and examine it with the following question in mind; "What is God's call for women at this moment in the history of the American Church and American society?" Historically, the Church and society were in opposing camps. Women were criticized by the clergy for speaking publicly on abolition and suffrage. Before and during World War I, militarization made the women's movements difficult, as many of the women were pacifists. Catholic women did not identify with the pacifist stance, reflecting Church attitudes of the time. The founding of the United Nations in 1946 saw women's rights become a global issue with increased gains in political rights by law. By the 1960s, women discovered that equal rights by law did not insure equality in fact. Factors still needing attention include illiteracy and equal educational opportunities, equal employment and pay, inclusion in policy making, economic handicaps, and leadership opportunities. Church attitudes changed. Pope John XXIII implied support for the world women's rights movements and Vatican Council II in 1965 laid down fundamental principles regarding human rights, including women's rights. However, no reference was made to the rights of women inside the church. Conclusions include that the church must address inequality and injustice inside ecclesiastical structures as well as in society and that the goal of Christian women must be "to strive for a Gospel response to the use of power." (CK)
Descriptors: Attitude Change, Church Responsibility, Church Role, Civil Liberties, Equal Education, Equal Opportunities (Jobs), Females, Feminism, Relationship, Sex Discrimination, Social Values, United States History, Voting Rights
National Catholic Educational Association, Suite 350, One Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C. 20036 ($6.50 for tape)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Catholic Church
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the National Catholic Education Association (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 17, 1979)