43. Buddhist Perspectives on Gender Issues

  1. Steven M. Emmanuel
  1. Rita M. Gross

Published Online: 5 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118324004.ch43

A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy

A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy

How to Cite

Gross, R. M. (2013) Buddhist Perspectives on Gender Issues, in A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy (ed S. M. Emmanuel), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118324004.ch43

Author Information

  1. University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 FEB 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 MAR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470658772

Online ISBN: 9781118324004



  • Buddhism;
  • gender;
  • Western women


Four areas have emerged as especially important foci for discussions of Buddhism and gender. First is simply gathering the information about women and gender – given that most Buddhists, especially Western Buddhists, were quite unaware of how male-dominated Buddhism has traditionally been. Second, especially for Asian Buddhists, deep concern about the status of nuns and the need to restore full ordination for them in some parts of the Buddhist world has taken center stage. Third, especially for Western Buddhists, who are usually converts to Buddhism and are generally lay practitioners, a whole gamut of questions about how to live as Buddhists in a non-Buddhist culture became dominant. Finally, Buddhists, especially in the West, have taken up the issue of why there have been so few women teachers and leaders throughout Buddhist history and have begun to change that situation dramatically.