Women in Religious Leadership and Interfaith Dialogue: The Challenges Faced and Possible Solutions (by Allyson Zacharoff)

This article emphasizes that women have a great deal to contribute to the field of interfaith relations but can face critical challenges in what has long been a male clergy-dominated field I present a brief history of the rise in women’s ability to become clergy, particularly in the United States, then I look at some of the gendered modesty requirements in parts of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and how that can play a role in preventing women from fully participating in the relationship-building portion of interfaith work. I then underscore how all of these factors combine to put women at a disadvantage in certain interfaith situations, before I ultimate suggest ways in which we can come together and ensure that all people committed to doing this important work—including women—can fully join in making the world a more understanding, respectful place through dialogue.