Seeds of Peace Vol.17 No.2 May.-Aug. (2001)

The inferior status of women in the Theravada Buddhist tradition has long been a topic covered in Seeds of Peace. The Ariya Vinaya meeting was the catalyst for a renewed call for concrete changes in the status of ordained women. In Siam, maechee is the name given to a woman who commits to eight-precepts and dons white robes. The government does not fully recognize these women as religious persons and society relegates maechees to performing menial tasks. Currently, maechees are not encouraged to study the dhamma. In this issue we hope to share information about the status of maechees in Siam and to inspire further work towards the goal of higher ordination and, subsequently, greater respect for all women. The Sri Lankan reestablishment of the bhikkhuni sangha(women who have received higher ordination) in the Theravada tradition is a reason for optimism and a resource for the Thai process.

The formation of the International Buddhist Youth Movement (Interbuddy) was another inspiring development of the Ariya Vinaya conference. The group has members from Indonesia. Thailand, Mongolia, India, and the US and we hope that Seeds of Peace will be a channel for spreading awareness about the group and making youth projects a major component of socially engaged Buddhism.


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