Women-led Buddha-dharma, from Brazil to Breda

Despite having been excluded from the upper echelons of religious leadership in many traditions, women play a core part in religious communities. Women tend to attend religious rituals more regularly than men, and bring their male relations and spouses to these events. In more traditional societies, women facilitate community cohesion and assist the integration of […]

Soka Gakkai in Latin America: New Frontiers for Women

The worldwide organization of Soka Gakkai is classed as a “new religious movement,” which is characterized by lay leaders and pastors, a vibrant and proactive missionary philosophy, and a core message that is easily replicable and attractive. In Soka Gakkai’s hermeneutic, the Lotus Sutra is the core scripture that contains the essence of the Buddha’s […]

Building Community: Local Concerns for Local Buddhist Women

BDE’s special issue on women, Mujeres y budismo en los países de habla hispana, is a unique project. Since it tells the story of Buddhist women in Spanish-speaking countries, it highlights problems specific to these women that might have been overlooked in English-language media. In Anglophone Buddhist feminist circles, including the broader Sakyadhita community, discourse […]

How Dharma-Gaia is steering Hispanic Buddhism on a course of ecological justice

Born after the landmark symposium of Sakyadhita Spain’s 2nd International Symposium of Spanish-Speaking Buddhist Women (“Dharma-Gaia: Buddhism, Women, and the Climate Crisis”), the Dharma-Gaia organization arose as an idea among Sakyadhita’s management that there should be a network of environmental feminism that could intersect with the Buddhist community. This group of “Buddhist eco-feminists” is an […]

Circles of Practice: Spanish-speaking Buddhist Women

In the previous entry on our series introducing Hispanophone Buddhism, we covered Montse Castellà Olivé, founding president of the Spain chapter of Sakyadhita. Sakyadhita is commonly known as one of Buddhism’s most prominent women’s advocacy and research organizations. Since 2020, Sakyadhita Spain has hosted ten “circles of practice,” known in Spanish as círculo de práctica […]

Mahaprajapati Gautami, Pioneer of the Women’s Movement in Buddhism

Mayura Saavi The women’s movement is a subject not widely discussed in conservative countries like India. After the early 20th century, the present history of the first women’s movement of 1900 is known among today’s generation, which was against the disrespectful behavior that women in the ‘industry’    experienced. On March 8, International Women’s Day […]

The 15th Sakyadhita Conference in Hong Kong: Women’s Empowerment through Diversity and Plurality

Although gender equality has enjoyed progress in many sectors of our society, we can still see that discrimination against women in varying degrees is a feature of most societies. Gender casts a shadow in ongoing discussions about the re-establishment of Bhikkhuni Order, one of the crucial fourfold assemblies in the Theravada and Vajrayana Buddhist traditions. […]

A Conversation with Tenzin Palmo on Nuns and Challenging Sexism

In this extended discussion recorded on the spot by Sónia Gomes, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo discusses important but often uncomfortable gender issues in Vajrayana, including the need to challenge engrained cultural sexism in monasteries and the plight of ordained Western women, who more often than not have no institutional, psychological, or moral support after becoming nuns. […]

Embodied Women

What does it mean to be a woman in the Buddhist tradition? To me, even a question as important as bhikkhuni ordination in the Theravada and Vajrayana schools is not as basic as the question of “the woman” in Buddhism. Nor am I convinced that gender is inconsequential to conventional Buddhist life just because gender […]