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Gender and Women in Jainism
(11,563 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 w…

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Sethi, Manisha, “Gender and Women in Jainism”, in: Brill's Encyclopedia of Jainism Online, Denison University University of Edinburgh University of Bergen University of California, Berkeley John E. Cort, Paul Dundas, Knut A. Jacobsen, Kristi L. Wiley. Consulted online on 23 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2020

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