Speaking in the name of a political or religious authority has essentially been the preserve of men. Though they may have found women’s equality admissible in matters of faith, they no less maintained and reinforced the privileges they enjoyed within confessional hierarchies while allowing women their autonomy in specific fields. Modernity, which placed the human person at the centre of organisational and representational systems, represents a turning point. However the promotion of women’s roles in diverse societies and the transformations in their legal status did not follow a linear course. Positions in support of women’s emancipation were up until the sixties shared across religious persuasions. The subsequent half-century has seen “feminism” assume sometimes vastly diverging forms.