Women in Buddhism: Questions and Answers

by Ven. Chatsumarn Kabilsingh PhD.

When Maha Pajapati asked the Buddha to join the Order, why did he hesitate but give permission later?

What are the requirements for Bhikkhuni ordination?

Why do men have only two levels of ordination while women have to go through three levels?

Why do bhikkhunis follow more precepts (sikkhapada) than monks?

What is the reason for the androcentric nature of the Tripitaka?

Is it true that the Tripitaka suppresses women?

What do you think of the Eight Garudharmas?

The bhikkhus have three robes while the bhikkhunis have five robes. What are they?

Once the women joined the Sangha, how were they treated by the bhikkhus?

What was the attitude of the bhikkhus towards the Buddha’s acceptance of women?

What was the status of the bhikkhunis during the Buddha’s time?

Were there any enlightened bhikkhunis?

Why cannot a bhikkhu receive food offered by bhikkhuni?

In the Buddha’s time what role did women play in Buddhism?

What is the lineage of the bhikkhuni Sangha in the history of Buddhism?

Are there bhikkhunis also in other countries?

Are there bhikkhunis in the Theravada tradition?

Why is there no bhikkhuni Ordination in Thailand?

Is it possible to introduce bhikkhuni Sangha in Thailand?

Is it true that monks are not to touch women because women are impure?

It is commonly believed that women are unclean. How true is this belief?

Why are women seen as a commodity?

Why do some temples in the north not allow women to circumambulate the stupas?

It is often said that “women are enemy to the life of purity.” How do you explain this saying?

Is it true that once women are admitted to the Order, Buddhism will be shortened to 500 years?

Why cannot women become buddhas?

What is the Buddhist attitude towards prostitution?

What is an attitude of a Buddhist towards abortion?

What is the historical development of mae jis? And what is their present status?

How can a mae ji share in social and religious development?

Why do some families in the north sell their daughters so that they can give ordination to their sons?

Generally why do people prefer to make offering to monks rather than to mae jis?

Why do women go to the temple and make merit more than men?

In the role of female followers, what should Buddhist women do?

Is it true that if a person is enlightened, she must be ordained within 7 days?

What is the unique characteristic in American Buddhism which might interest a feminist?