Buddhism in Five Minutes - Elizabeth J. Harris

Buddhism in Five Minutes - Elizabeth J. Harris

35. Does Buddhism Support Gender Equality?

Buddhism in Five Minutes - Elizabeth J. Harris

Alice Collett [+-]
University of Wolverhampton
Alice Collett is Director of The South Asia History Project, University of Wolverhampton, UK. Her research focuses on the religious history of ancient India, especially the history of women.


Historically, many Buddhist traditions around the world have treated women as inferior to men. There is, however, nothing in basic Buddhist ethical principles or foundational Buddhist doctrine that supports such a view. Quite the opposite, in fact. The basic answer to the question, therefore, is that Buddhism supports gender equality in principle, but Buddhist traditions have not always done so in practice. The reason for this is likely ingestion of social norms and cultural values from traditional societies, which considered women to be inferior to men, as these are the types of societies within which Buddhism first arose and existed for centuries.

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Collett, Alice. 35. Does Buddhism Support Gender Equality?. Buddhism in Five Minutes. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 172-175 Nov 2021. ISBN 9781800500907. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=40774. Date accessed: 23 Oct 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.40774. Nov 2021

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