Women in Buddhism

Women in Buddhism is a topic that can be approached from varied perspectives including those of theology, history and feminism. Topical interests include the theological status of women, the treatment of women in Buddhist societies at home and in public, the history of women in Buddhism, a comparison of the experiences of women across different forms of Buddhism; as in other religions, the experiences of Buddhist women have varied considerably. Scholars such as Bernard Faure and Miranda Shaw are in agreement that Buddhist studies is in its infancy in terms of addressing gender issues. Shaw gave an overview of the situation in 1994: In the case of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism some progress has been made in the areas of women in early Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism. Two articles have broached the subject of women in Indian tantric Buddhism, while somewhat more attention has been paid to Tibetan nuns and lay yoginis; however Khandro Rinpoche, a female lama in Tibetan Buddhism, downplays the significance of growing attention to the topic: When there is a talk about women and Buddhism, I have noticed that people regard the topic as something new and different.

They believe that women in Buddhism has become an important topic because we live in modern times and so many women are practicing the Dharma now. However, this is not the case; the female sangha has been here for centuries. We are not bringing something new into a 2,500-year-old tradition; the roots are there, we are re-energizing them. As a present evaluation of women in Buddhism, Masatoshi Ueki gave a diachronic textual interpretation of Buddhist texts from Early Buddhism to the Lotus Sutra. Ueki examined the terms'male' and'female' as based not on the physical characteristics of each sex biologically but on their functional roles within society, calling them the'male principle' and'female principle,' and concluded that no difference is preached in the Shakyamuni's teachings regarding the enlightenment of woman; the establishment of the male principle in equal measure with the female principle is the natural order of things. They should never exist in a mutually exclusive relationship, they should not be an emphasis on one at the expense of the other, for both are indispensable.... will the establishment of the true self be a fact of reality for both men and women.

6th century BCE: Mahapajapati Gotami, the aunt and foster mother of Buddha, was the first woman to receive Buddhist ordination. 5th century: Prajñādhara, the twenty-seventh Indian Patriarch of Zen Buddhism and teacher of Bodhidharma, is believed to have been a woman. 13th century: The first female Zen master in Japan was the Japanese abbess Mugai Nyodai. 1880: Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott became the first Westerners to receive the refuges and precepts, the ceremony by which one traditionally becomes a Buddhist. 1928: A secular law was passed in Thailand banning women's full ordination in Buddhism. However, this law was revoked some time after Varanggana Vanavichayen became the first female monk to be ordained in Thailand in 2002. 1966: Freda Bedi, a British woman, became the first Western woman to take ordination in Tibetan Buddhism. 1971: Venerable Voramai called Ta Tao Fa Tzu, became the first ordained Thai woman in the Mahayana lineage in Taiwan and turned her family home into a monastery.

1976: Karuna Dharma became the first ordained female member of the Buddhist monastic community in the U. S. 1981: Ani Pema Chodron is an American woman, ordained as a bhikkhuni in a lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in 1981. Pema Chödrön was the first American woman to be ordained as a Buddhist nun in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. 1988: Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo, an American woman called Catharine Burroughs, became the first Western woman to be named a reincarnate lama. 1996: Through the efforts of Sakyadhita, an International Buddhist Women Association, ten Sri Lankan women were ordained as bhikkhunis in Sarnath, India. 1996: Subhana Barzagi Roshi became the Diamond Sangha's first female roshi when she received transmission on March 9, 1996, in Australia. In the ceremony Subhanna became the first female roshi in the lineage of Robert Aitken Roshi. 1998: Sherry Chayat, born in Brooklyn, became the first American woman to receive transmission in the Rinzai school of Buddhism. 1998: After 900 years without such ordinations, Sri Lanka again began to ordain women as ordained Buddhist nuns, called bhikkhunis.

2002: Khenmo Drolma, an American woman, became the first bhikkhuni in the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Buddhism, traveling to Taiwan to be ordained. 2002: A 55-year-old Buddhist nun, Varanggana Vanavichayen, became the first female monk to be ordained in Thailand. She was ordained by a Sri Lankan woman monk in the presence of a male Thai monk. Theravada scriptures, as interpreted in Thailand, require that for a woman to be ordained as a monk, the ceremony must be attended by both a male and female monk; some time after this a secular law in Thailand banning women's full ordination in Buddhism, passed in 1928 was revoked. 2003: Ayya Sudhamma Bhikkhuni became the first American-born woman to gain bhikkhuni ordination in the Theravada school in Sri Lanka. 2003: On February 28, 2003, Dhammananda Bhikkhuni known as Chatsumarn Kabilsingh, became the first Thai woman to receive full ordination as a Theravada nun. She was ordained in Sri Lanka. 2003: Saccavadi and Gunasari were ordained as bhikkhunis in Sri Lanka, thus becoming the first female Burmese novices in modern times to receive higher ordination in Sri Lanka.

2004: Khenmo Drolma, an American woman, became the first westerner of

Donald Fowler

Donald L. Fowler is an American political scientist and political operative who served as National Chair of the Democratic National Committee from 1995 to 1997, alongside Christopher J. Dodd as General Chairman during this same period. Fowler is a political science professor and businessman from South Carolina who has spent most of his adult life in various Democratic Party roles, including state party executive director, state party chair, CEO of the 1988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta. Fowler earned a degree in psychology from Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in 1957 where he had his basketball jersey retired, was president of the student body, became a member of the Kappa Alpha Order. For his master's and doctoral degrees, he attended the University of Kentucky, a pioneering institution in the disciplines of political science and public administration, he has taught public administration and American politics at the University of South Carolina since 1964, has taught at Wofford College and The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina from time to time.

He is a retired colonel in the U. S. Army Reserve and a graduate of the U. S. Army War College as well. Fowler served as chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party from 1971 to 1980, during the tenure of Democratic governor John C. West, the contentious gubernatorial election of 1974 and the early tenure of Democratic governor Richard Riley. Prior to the 1984 Democratic National Convention, he was appointed by party chairman Paul G. Kirk to chair the "Fairness Commission," one of many Democratic commissions created to reform the presidential nomination process. Fowler's Fairness Commission banned winner-take-all districts in primaries and caucuses, expanded the reach of the 15% threshold rule, increased the number of convention superdelegates from 568 in 1980 to 650 in 1988. Fowler served as CEO of the 1988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta. Fowler's term as National Chairman included the 1996 presidential election between Bill Clinton and Bob Dole; as national chairman, Fowler ran the party's day-to-day operations while Christopher Dodd, the general chairman, served with Fowler as the party's public faces.

The two co-chair positions were established several times by President Clinton from 1995-2001, although the roles are combined. In 1996, Fowler made a determination that Lyndon LaRouche, seeking the Democratic presidential nomination for the fifth time, was not a "bona fide Democrat" because of his "expressed political beliefs... which are explicitly racist and anti-Semitic" and due to his "past activities including exploitation of and defrauding contributors and voters", instructed state parties to disregard votes for him. LaRouche lost his appeal, in a case known as LaRouche v. Fowler. After Clinton's re-election, Fowler was accused of contacting the CIA about a businessman, Roger Tamraz, who had donated money to the Democratic party, his answer to questions from the US Senate about this was, "I have in the middle of the night--high noon--late in the afternoon--early in the morning, every hour of the day, for months now searched my memory about conversations with the CIA. And I have no memory, no memory of any conversation with the CIA."

Fowler never faced the investigation of his role ended without controversy. Fowler remains active in Democratic politics as a member of the DNC. Following the 2006 midterm elections, in response to James Carville's call to remove Howard Dean as chair, Fowler e-mailed his fellow DNC members, saying, "Some ill-advised voices have suggested that, because of his 50-state strategy, Governor Dean should be replaced as Chair of the DNC; this is nonsense. The 50-state strategy is what the Democratic Party needed and continues to need.... Democrats won a great victory on November 7—control of the United States House of Representatives, control of the United States Senate, majority of Governors, majority of state legislative bodies. Why should anyone want to mess with the team that won these remarkable results? Governor Dean deserves to continue as DNC Chair."Fowler and his communications agency have handled state and federal government relations projects for a diverse group of clients. He has carried out marketing studies, public relations and marketing programs for national and international clients.

As of 2018, Fowler remains an adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of South Carolina, in 2014 was recognized by the state legislature for his 50th year teaching at USC. Fowler's son, Donnie Fowler, ran unsuccessfully for DNC chair in 2005. Appearances on C-SPAN Interview with Fowler Summary of the Tamraz Scandal Washington Post 9/9/1997 CIA Memos Detail DNC Chief Actions Sen. Patrick Moynihan's Remarks Regarding Fowler Political Wire: Explains Dodd and Fowler's Roles Fowler as a 2000 Convention Delegate Fowler opposing earlier primaries Video of Don Fowler's Hurricane remarks


Altichiero da Verona called Aldighieri da Zevio, was an Italian painter of the Gothic style. A follower of Giotto, Altichiero is credited with founding the Veronese school, he worked in Verona and Padua—works by him survive in the church of Sant'Anastasia in Verona and in the basilica of Sant'Antonio and the Oratorio di San Giorgio in Padua. Altichiero was born somewhere near Zevio, he became an important member of the della Scala's household, around 1364 painted a series of frescoes based upon Flavius Josephus's The Wars of the Jews at the della Scala palace of Sala del Podestà. There are frescoes by him in the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua. In conjunction with D'Avanzo Veronese, he frescoed the chapel of St. James for which he was paid 792 ducats; the first seven frescoes on the life of St. James the Elder were by Altichiero; the last record of Altichiero is a Paduan archival document of September 1384. At that time he about to go there; the Florentine art historian Giorgio Vasari is the source of the tradition that Altichiero returned to Verona after working in Padua.

Farquhar, Maria. Ralph Nicholson Wornum. Biographical catalogue of the principal Italian painters. Woodfall & Kinder, Angel Court, Skinner Street, London. P. 234