The Women’s Commission in the process of attentive listening for Justice and Equity

On International Women’s Day 3 years ago, Father GeneralArturo Sosa created the Commission on the Role and Responsibilities of Women in the Society of Jesus. Its responsibility is to 1) evaluate the appropriation of Decree 14 of General Congregation 34, “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.

Where are we at TODAY?

This year, the global Commission on the Role and Responsibilities of Women of the Society of Jesus has been actively engaged in attentive listening. This process involves carefully taking in the experiences and perceptions shared by women and men, including religious women and Jesuits, across the six Conferences.

One of the notable activities, in 2023, was a comprehensive review of the global survey results conducted by the Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC) of the Ateneo de Manila University, located in the Philippines. The survey gathered the participation of around 1,400 collaborators regarding their perceptions of the role and responsibilities of women in Jesuit institutions and activities, how these perceptions of women translate into current practices and ways forward in Jesuit institutions, and what recommendations the Commission can present to the Superior General of the Jesuits to improve the participation of women in Jesuit institutions.

Based on the richness shared by the survey participants, the Commission members determined that attentive listening should continue and deepen to nurture their reflection and communal discernment to respond to the call of Father General. Consequently, over the next few months, the Commission will prioritize listening and amplifying the voices of underrepresented groups, and the answers that should be deepened, especially from women.

The members of the Commission aim that all these voices with profound experience and wisdom of the global community will be the compass to guide their recommendations to Father General to strengthen the Society’s mission through the active participation of all partners, particularly women, through just and discerned practices as our way of proceeding.


Prayer, reflection, meditation

By Jenéne M. Francis (in JIVAN Magazine)

The Women’s Commission itself is an example of discernment in common, responding from the movement of the Spirit. Therefore, we invite you to take a moment and pray with us by reflecting and discerning individually or with your colleagues.

In the book of Revelation, the Son of Man, Jesus, says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. (...) Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev 3:20, 22 – NIV)

One of the first steps of discernment is to pray for interior freedom to be able to hear the Spirit. Recall when you first heard about the Women’s Commission. Did your ‘heart leap for joy’? Or did the doors of your heart start to swing closed with anxiety or fear?

As you consider the Commission’s mandates now, do the survey and discernment process increase your sense of hopefulness for the role and responsibilities of women in the Society of Jesus?

You might also be experiencing some resistance. Pray for the graces you need to name and surrender what might get in the way of listening to what women want to tell you about their lived experiences as friends and companions in the Lord.

* To refresh your memory or to know better about the Commission and its process, you may read these articles:

8 March 2021: It’s Women’s Day for the Jesuits too! (8 March 2021)
Women’s Day - 1st Anniversary of the Commission on the Role of Women (7 March 2022)
Highlighting the role of women in strengthening mission (25 October 2022)
The Women’s participation in the Jesuit world – a global survey (2 November 2002)
The Women’s Commission, at the end of its meeting in Rome (4 November 2022)
Ongoing works of the “Commission on Women” (8 March 2023)

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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.

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