8 March – Ongoing works of the “Commission on Women”

The year 2023 marks the second year of the Commission on the Role and Responsibilities of Women in the Society of Jesus. In the past two years, the Women’s Commission has conducted various activities to respond to the call of Father General Arturo Sosa, to 1) evaluate the appropriation of General Congregation 34’s Decree 14, “Jesuits and the Situation of Women in Church & Civil Society”; 2) evaluate the participation and position of women and the structures of collaboration at all levels in institutions of the Society of Jesus and its apostolic works; and 3) make recommendations to the different levels of leadership in the Society of Jesus to strengthen the mission of the Society with the active participation of women.

Between April 2022 and January 2023, the Commission, with guidance from the Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC) of the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines, developed a global survey aimed to provide insights into the following questions: how are women’s roles and responsibilities within Jesuit institutions and activities perceived by women and men, including religious sisters and Jesuits; how are these perceptions about women translated into current practices and ways of moving forward in Jesuit institutions; and what recommendations can the Women’s Commission present to the Superior General of the Jesuits to enhance further engagement of women in Jesuit institutions.

This work led to the in-person meeting in the General Curia in Rome in October 2022 that established a way of proceeding among a diverse global Commission in which the human and social justice dimensions are at the core of every reflection, discussion, and decision-making step.


The Commission met with Father General Arturo Sosa, his General Council, with members of the Secretariat for Social Justice and Ecology and of the Jesuit Refugee Service. Additionally, the commissioners held conversations with the under-secretary of the Synod of Bishops, Sister Nathalie Becquart, and with religious sisters representatives of the Union of International Superiors General. These meetings were of great relevance to the work of the Commission since they placed particular emphasis on women’s experience in and with the Society of Jesus.

The ongoing survey responds to the spirit of Decree 14 of General Congregation 34 and our current social reality. The survey is the result of a collaborative effort by the Commission and the IPC Team, as months of consultation, review, contextualization/translation, and pre-testing took place, not only between the Commission and the research team but also with each Commissioner’s closest Jesuit colleagues, to create a survey that was culturally sensitive and globally acceptable. The survey has been already translated into nine languages to increase its reach.

Prayer and Reflection

The Women’s Commission invites you to take a moment of prayer and deep reflection as we continue the work for a more equitable world for all women in our world.

We pray with

• The Samaritan woman at the well: John 4: 27
Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”

What matters to the disciples is not that this woman is Samaritan, but her gender. Jesus breaks this barrier - and not just in this story.

Reflections and sharing

• Do I see other stories where Jesus breaks barriers regarding gender? Do I break sometimes barriers regarding gender?

• As I align myself in solidarity with women in Decree 14, what is easy for me, and what is difficult for me?

• There are women who are dear to me, who are important in my life story. Who are they? Do I pray for them?

• What blessings do I see?

We ask you to pray for the Women’s Commission as we continue our work.

Share this Post:
Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

Related Posts: