The church has made some strides in elevating the status of women in the church. To name just a few changes that have happened since the inception of the bloggernacle:
- Women who are paid CES teachers are no longer fired when they have a baby. This was #3 on my first post linked above.
- Women were invited to pray at General Conference. This was #7 on my first post linked above.
- Pictures of women leaders were added to the conference center.
- Priesthood session was televised, available to all.
- Garments were redesigned and input from women sought before, during and after the process. (They still aren’t great, natch, but they were worse). This was #10 on the post linked above.
- Church HQ backed a woman’s right to wear pants to church, refusing to define “Sunday best” any further.
- Women’s session was included as a session of General Conference (while adding 8 year olds and up, greatly increasing the optics problem of infantilizing women).
- An essay on Heavenly Mother was released. (Buried in lds.org a little bit, and lacking in much substance, but so it was). This was #5 on my first post linked above.
- The mission age was lowered for women, creating much greater gender parity for mission service. (Women were also given limited leadership roles, only over other women, and with the caveat of “trainer” thrown in).
- Temple menstruation deemed OK.
- Including women in many previously all-male church councils. (While adding “and family” to the council name, because men don’t belong to families or ever think about them; only women do). This was #1 on my first post linked above.
- Beginning to back away from BSA to achieve gender parity in funding. (Early days on this one). #8 on my first post linked above.
Here is a starter list:
- Allow women to hold their babies during blessings.
- Invite women to serve as witnesses to ordinances like baptisms and sealings.
- Sunday School and Primary Presidency should be gender neutral.
- Merge HP and EQ to reduce redundancies in staffing ward positions.
- Mission President should be a title applied to both men & women.
- Hire women as church University Presidents.
- Allow women to be clerks, stake auditors, and Ward Mission Leaders.
- Allow YW and women to be interviewed by women leaders for temple recommends.
- At minimum, invite one woman to speak in each session of General Conference, including Priesthood session.
- Put the Relief Society President in charge of ward welfare decisions.
I haven’t mentioned two that are probably bigger than a bread box:
- Eliminate sexism from the temple. There are a few specific changes that would really help and would not be that difficult to do, but change to this is very slow.
- Ordaining women is bound to come up in the comments, and while it’s a “shortest distance between two points” approach, my preference for this post would be on changes that would be easy for leaders to execute without having to backtrack on something they just retrenched.
Let’s hear from our readers.
- Which of these, if any, do you disagree with?
- Which do you think would be most impactful?
- What suggestions would you add?