Key Theme: Women and Religion

The links below include organizations related to women and religion, both in the United States and internationally. Many of these organizations have participated in our women’s networks initiative over the years; others are grassroots organizations that have been part of our research and relationship building. Several organizations, such as the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association, were once active but for a variety of reasons are no longer viable. Others, like the Committee on South Asian Women and the Sacred Circles Conferences at the Washington National Cathedral maintain a web presence, albeit outdated. Please email staff@pluralism.org with any proposed additions to this list.

Asian American Support and Resource Agency
Grassroots organization in New England that provides support and resources to women and families in the Asian American immigrant community.
www.aasranewengland.com

Catholics for a Free Choice
A progressive organization based in Washington, DC “for Catholics who believe that the Catholic tradition supports a woman’s moral and legal right to follow her conscience in matters of sexuality and reproductive health.”
www.catholicsforchoice.org/

ChurchThe term church has come to wide use to refer to the organized and gathered religious community. In the Christian tradition, church refers to the organic, interdependent “body” of Christ’s followers, the community of Christians. Secondarily, church ... Women United
“A national movement of ProtestantProtestant is a term used for the range of reform movements that broke with the Roman Catholic Church during the period called the Reformation. There are many branches of Protestantism, including the Lutherans, Anabaptists, Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists..., Roman Catholic, OrthodoxIn general, orthodox means having a “correct opinion or outlook” and is a term used by people in many religions who claim authority for traditional views and forms of their religion. and other Christian women.”
www.churchwomen.org

The Feminist Sexual Ethics Project, Brandeis University
A research project housed in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University that explores the “sexual ethics within JudaismJudaism is the worldview, the way of life, and the religious practice of the Jewish people, living in covenant with God and in response to Torah, the laws and ethics which guide the pattern of Jewish life. Jews today interpret their three thousand year ol..., ChristianityChristianity is the religious tradition of Christians: those who confesses faith in Jesus Christ, follow the path Christ taught, and gather together in the community of the church., and IslamIslam in Arabic literally means “submitting” or “submission.” One who submits or surrenders his or her will to God is called a Muslim. While the whole of God’s creation is described as being inherently Muslim, human beings must choose whether to....”
www.brandeis.edu/projects/fse

Gamma Gamma Chi Sorority
The first Muslim women’s sorority in the United States.
www.gammagammachi.org

Hadassah: The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc.
The largest women’s organization in America, focused on women’s role in “strengthening the unity of Jewish people.”
www.hadassah.org

Institute for Women’s Policy Research
A research organization that addresses the needs of women and relevant policy implications.
www.iwpr.org

IWPR’s Politics, Religions, and Women’s Public Vision Program
A research program of IWPR that seeks to articulate women’s vision for public policy from a faith perspective.
www.iwpr.org/Politics_Religion_PublicVision/index.htm

Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance
An international alliance devoted to expanding “the spiritual, ritual, intellectual and political opportunities for women within the framework of Jewish law and ritual.
www.jofa.org

Justice for Women Working Group
A working group of the National Council of ChurchesThe term church has come to wide use to refer to the organized and gathered religious community. In the Christian tradition, church refers to the organic, interdependent “body” of Christ’s followers, the community of Christians. Secondarily, church ... of Christ’s (NCC) Justice and Advocacy Commission.
www.ncccusa.org/about/justicehome.html

Leadership Conference of Women ReligiousA nun is a woman who renounces worldly life and is ordinarily a member of a monastic order or community, thereby undertaking a special commitment to study, service, asceticism, prayer, or disciplined spiritual practice. In the Buddhist tradition, fully or...
“A canonically approved membership organization which exists as a support system and corporate voice for leaders of institutes of women religious (Catholic sisters) in the United States.”
www.lcwr.org

Ma’ayan
A TorahThe Old Testament is the term Christians often use for the body of writings that comprise the Hebrew Bible which Jews call Tanakh. study initiative for women, based in Greater Boston.
www.maayan.org

Manavi, Inc.
The first organization in the U.S. to address violence against women in the South Asian community, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
www.manavi.org

Muslim Women’s League
An organization “working to implement the values of Islam and thereby reclaim the status of women as free, equal and vital contributors to society.”
www.mwlusa.org/

National Council of Jewish Women
A volunteer organization that focuses on the needs of women, children, and families from a progressive Jewish perspective.
www.ncjw.org

NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
A progressive voice within the Catholic community that has worked to influence Congress in favor of peace and justice for more than 30 years.
www.networklobby.org

Our Inner Lives
“Our Inner Lives honors women’s inner lives of faith, religious practice, spiritual transformation and commitment to causes greater than ourselves.”
http://www.feminist.com/ourinnerlives

Sakhi for South Asian Women
“A community-based organization in the New York metropolitanA Metropolitan is the title given to a bishop, used especially in the Orthodox family of churches today. area committed to ending violence against women of South Asian origin.”
www.sakhi.com

Sakyadhita
The international association of Buddhist women, meaning “Daughters of the BuddhaBuddha means “awakened one” and specifically refers to Shakyamuni Buddha, also known as Siddhartha Gautama (traditional date, sixth c. BCE), the historical founder of the tradition that became known as Buddhism. All Buddhist traditions agree that ther....”
www.sakyadhita.org

SARAH: Spiritual and Religions Alliance for Hope
An interfaith women’s group based in Santa Margarita, California.
www.sarah4hope.org

SikhSikhs call their tradition the “Sikh Panth,” meaning the “community (panth) of the disciples of the Guru.” The tradition reveres a lineage of ten Gurus, beginning with Guru Nanak in the 16th century and coming to a clos. with the death of Guru Gob... Women
An advocacy organization “comprising of men and women who believe in social change by harnessing the principles of SikhismSikhs call their tradition the “Sikh Panth,” meaning the “community (panth) of the disciples of the Guru.” The tradition reveres a lineage of ten Gurus, beginning with Guru Nanak in the 16th century and coming to a clos. with the death of Guru Gob....”
www.sikhwomen.com

Thai BhikkhunisBhikkhunis are Buddhist nuns. Although the lineage of fully ordained women monastics died out long ago in the Theravada traditions of South Asia, it has been preserved in the Mahayana traditions of East Asia. In fact, there are currently more nuns than mo...
An organization based in Thailand which promotes the ordinationOrdination means consecration to a priestly or monastic life. The term is used in the Buddhist tradition for the rites of becoming a monk (bhikkhu) or nun (bhikkhuni); in the Jewish tradition for the rites of becoming a rabbi; and in the Christian traditi... of women in BuddhismBuddhism is a multi-hued tradition of life, thought, and practice that has developed from the teaching and practice of Siddhartha Gautama (6th century BCE) who came to be called the Buddha, the awakened one. The three major streams of the tradition—Ther....
www.thaibhikkhunis.org/old/eng/

United MethodistThe Methodist church is a Protestant communion of churches which began in England with John Wesley (1703-91) and has become a worldwide movement. In the U.S., the United Methodist Church—one of the largest Protestant denominations—is known for its str... Women
One of the largest Protestant women’s organizations in the United States.
gbgm-umc.org/umw

Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government
A research center that seeks to educate the next generation of government leaders on gender perspectives while contributing to scholarship on women and public policy.
www.ksg.harvard.edu/wappp

Women in Islam
“A coalition of professional and social activist Muslim women representing a broad spectrum of human rights and social justice interests.”
www.womeninislam.org

Women of Reform JudaismReform Judaism is one of the major modern Jewish movements, originating in 19th century Europe and coming to flower in the United States. It emphasizes the legitimacy of change, the commanding importance of ethical monotheism, and the liberal Jewish commi...
A federation of congregationalThe congregational form of Protestant Christianity has traditionally affirmed the autonomy and authority of the local congregation in calling and ordaining its ministers and organizing its affairs. In the 17th century, the English Puritans introduced cong... women’s groups, representing more than 75,000 Reform Jewish women in the United States, Canada, and abroad.
www.wrj.org/default.aspx

Women of the EvangelicalThe Greek word euangelion means “good news” and an evangelist is one who proclaims and shares the good news of Christ. Evangelism is the preaching and witnessing to that good news. Evangelicals are Christians who emphasize the personal experience of G... LutheranLutheranism is a Protestant tradition following the theology of Martin Luther (1483-1546), the reformer who was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church and launched the German reformation. He emphasized the sole authority of the Bible, the priesthoo... Church in America
The women’s organization of the ELCA, covering the United States and the Caribbean.
www.womenoftheelca.org

Women Transcending Boundaries (WTB)
An interfaith women’s group formed after 9/11 based in Syracuse, New York.
www.wtb.org

Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER)
“A feminist educational center, doing work locally, nationally and internationally organizing programs and projects, publications and workshops, counseling, spiritual direction and liturgical planning which help people actualize feminist religious values in the service of social change.”
www.hers.com/water

Women’s Interfaith Institute
“A nonprofit organization that provides the impetus for a wide variety of interfaith activities through which women of spirit can express their beliefs, form a community for action, and find loving support, energy, and an abundance of innovative ideas.”
www.womensinterfaithinstitute.org

Women’s Ordination Conference
The oldest “national organization working solely for women to be ordainedOrdination means consecration to a priestly or monastic life. The term is used in the Buddhist tradition for the rites of becoming a monk (bhikkhu) or nun (bhikkhuni); in the Jewish tradition for the rites of becoming a rabbi; and in the Christian traditi... as deaconsA deacon is a minister of the church, ordinarily a preliminary rank of clergy below a fully ordained minister or priest., priestsA priest is the leader of a religious community or congregation, specially trained and often ordained to service, who leads members of the community in the rituals and practice of shared and individual life. Many traditions have forms of priesthood.In the... and bishopsA bishop is an ordained minister who supervises life in a diocese, synod, or other broad region and possesses, among other things, the authority to ordain clergy to the ministry of the church. The Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, and Protest... into a renewing priestly ministryMinister is a general term for a member of the clergy in the Christian church. The term has also come to use in other religious traditions to designate a member of the clergy (as in the Jodo Shinshu tradition and the Nation of Islam). in the Catholic Church.”
www.womensordination.org

Women’s Program Sabeel
A program of Sabeel, the Palestinian Christian grassroots liberation theology movement in JerusalemJerusalem, the ancient capital of Israel from the time of King David (c. 1000 BCE), was the ritual and spiritual center of the Jewish people for 1,000 years until the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. For Jews, Jerusalem is still the geographical..., which “seeks to encourage networks of women, foster inclusivity, broaden women‘s knowledge of existing support resources, educate women on their spiritual history and their own powerful role as Christian women, and develop the capacity of women to take on leadership roles.”
www.sabeel.org/etemplate.php?id=3#women

Women’s Studies in Religion Program, Claremont Graduate University, School of Religion
An academic program based at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California.
www.cgu.edu/pages/1016.asp

Women’s Studies in Religion Program, Harvard Divinity School
An academic program at Harvard Divinity School which “promotes critical inquiry into the interaction between religion and gender.”
www.hds.harvard.edu/wsrp

Women’s Studies in Religion Program, Religion and the Feminist Movement Conference
A groundbreaking conference held in 2004 at Harvard Divinity School on religion and second wave feminism.
www.hds.harvard.edu/wsrp/scholarship/rfmc/index.htm

Women’s United Nations Report Network (WUNRN)
NGO and listserv that works toward the implementation of the United Nations Study on Freedom of Religion and Belief and the Status of Women from the perspective of religious traditions.
www.wunrn.com

World Conference of Religions for Peace, Women’s Network
A network of women leaders in the fields of “conflict transformation, children’s issues, development, disarmament and security, human rights and responsibilities, and peace education.”
http://religionsforpeace.org/initiatives/women/northamerica.html

Zarathushti/ZoroastrianOriginating with the teachings of the Prophet Zarathushtra in the second millennium BCE, the ancient faith of Zoroastrianism is referred to as “the Good Religion” in the sacred texts. Zoroastrians are encouraged to live out their faith through the pra... Women’s International Network
“A forum to globally link intergenerational Zarathushti women, to empower them to reach their full potential, and to actively work towards promoting the exchange of ideas in all relevant social, educational, and community issues.”
www.zwin3.net