This is an older article written by Jyotirmayi devi dasi that was originally posted on Chakra back in 1998. We are posting it here just to include it in the archives and history of The Hare Krishna Movement as founded by Srila Prabhupada. There is some very nice historical information, and pertinent insights by a woman practicing within the society.
…By accepting women in the temples and giving them the brahmacarini status, Prabhupada was not pretending: he gave them all the same rights and duties of the brahmacaris in the guru’s ashrama. The same thing applied when he gave them Brahman initiation. The women devotees had exactly the same spiritual activities, the same tasks, the same possibilities to progress spiritually and they were entitled to the same respect. At that time everything was done according to the abilities and the spiritual advancement of a person and not according to sex. Prabhupada did not make any distinction.
Women in ISKCON in Prabhupada’s Times
by Jyotirmayi Devi Dasi
[Originally posted on Chakra on January 22, 1998]