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Women's Gender Roles In Religion Essay

3449 words - 14 pages

Carolina Oquendo
Sociology of Gender
Final Project

Gender roles in religion have always been a controversial topic. All of the major world religions belittle women to some degree. It is not a secret that women have historically gotten the short end of the stick, so to speak, when it comes to how they are treated and viewed in religion. After researching this topic, I can safely say that the women do all the work and the men take all the credit. Women are treated less than equal to men in most religious settings. Below I will touch upon women’s roles in Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, the Rastafari Movement, Mormonism and Islam and how they have in fact, gotten the “short ...view middle of the document...

This is like allowing women to be Chief of Staff in the White House but never allowing them to run for presidential office. In Christianity, both men and women have the same right to be considered as saints and there are many women saints, however, according to the New Testament Christ appointed only male apostles. It has been maintained that Christian ministers should be men because they need to represent Jesus Christ who was the son of God. Many people have argued that God has no gender and that women should be able to represent God equally. Few women are recognized in the Christian world. Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene are among the most famous women in Christianity. Mary Magdalene is a woman who is commonly known as gallivant and described as promiscuous. Although Mary Magdalene has always been portrayed this way, recent studies have shown that to the contrary, Mary Magdalene was a leader in the Christian movement that helped put women in leadership roles. Due to the efforts of Mary Magdalene, women continued to thrive in the leadership positions within the Christian faith.
Another notable woman in Christianity was Thecla. Thecla had short hair and wore men’s clothing. She was constantly threatened with rape and prostitution throughout her duties as a missionary apostle. She maintained her faith in her religion and celibacy. Thecla’s story has been well documented. Thecla was a dignified woman who left her family behind to follow her fiancé. She then set out to teach the gospel. Thecla is another example of how women have not been given enough credit in their religious roles. Although Tecla was an exemplary woman who stood by her faith, she is currently most known for leaving her family behind to follow a man. It is evident by what is set forth above, that the Christian religion has not given women the same importance it has given men.
Judaism is the way of life of the Jewish people. The religion follows the Hebrew bible and believes that it is the expression of God with the children of Israel. According to Jewish law anyone born of a Jewish mother or someone who converts into Judaism is considered a Jew. Their faith is based on the laws revealed to Moses and recorded in the Torah. The role of women in Judaism has historically been seen as very docile. Women’s obligations and responsibilities are different from men’s in the Jewish faith. In Judaism, unlike Christianity, God has never been viewed as exclusively male. They also believe that women were created with greater intelligence; however, they are discouraged from pursuing higher education or religious pursuits. It is often said that if women pursue higher education they will neglect their families and their jobs as wives and mothers. The traditional role of a woman in Judaism is that of wife and mother and nothing else. This role should be priority over any other undertaking, including any religious gatherings or proceedings.
In Hebrew, women are referred to as...

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