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Gender and Women in Jainism
(11,708 words)

Jain elders have envisaged society as a fourfold division (caturvidhasaṅgha), comprising (1) female ascetics or mendicants and (2) female lay followers (sādhvīs and śrāvikās, respectively), alongside (3) male ascetics or mendicants and (4) male householders (sādhus [or munis] and śrāvakas, respectively). This foundational ideal then opens up two paths for Jain women: n…

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Sethi, Manisha, “Gender and Women in Jainism”, in: Brill's Encyclopedia of Jainism Online, Edited by: John E. Cort, Denison University, Paul Dundas, University of Edinburgh, Knut A. Jacobsen, University of Bergen, Kristi L. Wiley, University of California, Berkeley. Consulted online on 20 September 2019 <>
First published online: 2019
First print edition: 20190208

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