Archive photo from PBS, African-American Women Pastors
Washington Post’s Wonkblog explores a growing disinterest in church attendance among young women. The writer suggests that this is because women have been relegated to support positions, while men have been encouraged to leadership and authority.
From the blog:
The trend is especially pronounced among girls and young women. They are still more likely to say they go to church or pray than boys and young men. But the gender gap in religious participation has in recent years significantly shrunk.
Over the last four decades, the number of 12th-grade girls who reported never attending church has surged 125 percent. The increase among their male peers was 83 percent. In the late 1970s, 12th-grade boys were 50 percent more likely than girls to say they never go to church, Twenge said. By 2010, that difference had dwindled to 22 percent.
The writer relates the experience of Hannah Hunt, who grew up attending a non denominational church in southeastern Indiana. She remembers seeing women in the background throughout her childhood, and her takeaway was that her church only wanted women to provide support, not to lead or direct.
Historically, The Episcopal Church has denied ordination to women; in April, we reported on statements from two of the Philadelphia 11 that said TEC is still a struggle for women. In 2013, we reported on the prevalence of women in associate, not rector, roles.
Do you think it’s getting better in TEC? Would you want to be a part of a church where you had a strong feeling you’d never be welcome in an important role, regardless of your abilities or the need of the church?