Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2006

Journal Title

Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions

Volume Number

10

Issue Number

3

First Page

102

Last Page

116

Version

Publisher PDF: the final published version of the article, with professional formatting and typesetting

Disciplines

Buddhist Studies | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

Abstract

Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women was established in 1987 to address issues of gender equality in Buddhist societies and Buddhist institutions. Since then, through a series of innovative biannual conferences, Sakyadhita has worked to link women from different Buddhist traditions and cultural backgrounds and provide them with a forum where women’s voices can be heard. These conferences have generated a vibrant international Buddhist women’s movement that works for the welfare of the world’s estimated 300,000 Buddhist women. Because Buddhist institutions in Asian countries typically function independently and there is no central authority to oversee them or create policies, Sakyadhita’s intra-Buddhist communications network for women represents a major breakthrough. To keep their fingers on the pulse of this rapidly expanding movement, Karma Lekshe Tsomo and Christie Yu-ling Chang, Sakyadhita’s current president and vice-president, traveled to Malaysia, Vietnam, and India in 2005-06 for a month to document changes in the making for Buddhist women.

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