Religious Progress for Women

Looking at many of the religions of the world, it is a common theme that women are often at the bottom of the totem pole, especially in religions practiced in the Middle East. In society today, it is a normal debate between religious norms and the new wave movements of feminism and within the LGBT community. Within the last few months, maybe even years, these norms have been changed, especially with the recognition of the legality in same-sex marriages. Within the last week, another landmark change was recognized across seas as feminist protests in Israel proved beneficial when, on January 12th,  the high courts agreed to allow women the right to read from the Torah and the Western Wall, stated that if there wasn’t a good enough case against women within the religious practice, they would be officially recognized, and religious bodies would be legally forced to recognize them, within religious services. Prior to this ruling, women were barred from possessing any religious materials, from a Torah to a prayer shawl, and were often searched to prevent this which across the world was seen as a discrimination against sexes in the practice of something that welcomes everyone; religion. Religious freedom and the ability of anyone to practice religion is a common issue, and the fact that the Jewish high courts didn’t ask women to defend their rights to practice freely but rather questioned the government and asked them to defend why women shouldn’t have these rights is a step in the right direction toward religious freedom, especially for the groups that have been fighting this issue for years; the Women of the Wall and the Original Women of the Wall organizations.