Membership in Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW)

Membership in WOW is open to any national or international group in agreement with the aims and principles of WOW.

In countries where there is no group, individuals may affiliate as members of WOW.  If a national organisation or group is subsequently accepted as a member of WOW for that country, then the individual membership comes to an end.

Member Groups of WOW


Catholics Speak Out

Catholics Speak Out (CSO) is an organization of lay Catholics, sisters and priests working for the renewal of the Australian Catholic Church in the spirit of Vatican II and following the lead of Pope Francis. It is not a new organization but simply a name change of what was previously Catholics for Ministry. Our emphasis is on speaking out on structural issue that are important for the renewal of Australian Catholicism. 

We began in 2003 and have worked through awareness-building, speaking out, petitions, research and direct action to realize and strengthen the spirituality and consciousness that Vatican II has brought to the church. We are actively working toward getting women into leadership positions in Catholicism, including renewed ordained ministry. 


Women and the Australian Church (WATAC)

The story of Women and the Australian Church (WATAC) commenced in 1984 as a national project of the Religious women and men of Australia. While the WATAC organisation is Catholic by origin it is ecumenical by membership and has a commitment to working together with all churches and on an inter-faith basis.

WATAC’s vision is to provide a forum for those searching for an inclusive church and to enable the voice of women to be heard on global and social justice issues.

The aim of WATAC is to model new ways of being church, based on a "discipleship of equals".



We Are Church Austria

Founded in 1995 when 505,000 people signed a petition for church reform based on 5 points:

1. Building a fraternal church with equality for all the people of God;

2. Full equality for women;

3. Optional celibacy for ministries;

4. A positive view of sexuality;

5. A joyful gospel message instead of threats in Canon Law.



Catholic Network for Women's Equality (CNWE). 

The mission of this Canadian- based organisation is to help women name their giftedness and from that awareness to effect structural change in the Church that reflects the mutuality and co-responsibility of women and men within it.

CNWE fosters solidarity among women by celebrating the contributions of women to the Church and working towards full inclusion of women in all aspects of prayer and ministry, including ordained ministry.




Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests - Colombia


Femmes et Hommes Égalité, Droits et Libertés dans les Églises et la Société  (FHEDLES)

L’association Femmes et Hommes Égalité, Droits et Libertés dans les Églises et la Société (FHEDLES) est née le 6 février 2011. Elle succède aux deux associations sœurs Femmes et Hommes en Église (FHE) et Droits et Libertés dans les Églises (DLE), créées en 1969 et 1987.

Notre objectif est d’ « œuvrer au sein des Églises et de la société, avec la liberté de l’Évangile, à de nouvelles pratiques de justice, de solidarité et de démocratie pour :

  • l’égalité et le partenariat entre femmes et hommes, en refusant toute forme de discrimination liée au sexe.

  • la transformation profonde des mentalités, des comportements, des institutions pour donner réalité aux droits et liberté de toutes et tous.

  • l’émergence de langages et de symboles renouvelés.

  • la promotion de recherches, notamment historique et théologiques, appelées par les trois objectifs énoncés ci-dessus,

dans le respect de la diversité des cultures et des spiritualités. »

(Article 2 des statuts)



FHEDLES works in ecumenical, national and international settings to create new relationships in the Churches, as in society. Since its foundation in 1970, FHE has been committed to:

  • Promoting new relations between women and men according to the Gospel's
    prophetic message

  • Rejecting any kind of domination and discrimination related to sex in
    society and in the Churches

  • Participating in feminist research, especially on gender in Christianity

  • Creating new practices of co-responsibility and partnership.


Wir Sind Kirche (We Are Church) Germany

Die Kirchen Volks Bewegung "Wir sind Kirche" / Germany setzt sich ein für eine Erneuerung der römisch-katholischen Kirche auf der Basis des Zweiten Vatikanischen Konzils (1962-1965) und der darauf aufbauenden theologischen Forschung und pastoralen Praxis. "Wir sind Kirche" ist aus dem 1995 in österreich gestarteten Kirchenvolksbegehren hervorgegangen. Die 1996 gegründete internationale Bewegung "Wir sind Kirche" ist in mehr als 20 Ländern auf allen Kontinenten vertreten und arbeitet mit anderen Reformgruppen zusammen. Die Bewegung versteht sich als "Stimme des Kirchenvolkes". Die "Aktion Lila Stola" ist eine Arbeitsgruppe von "Wir sind Kirche", die sich speziell für deren 2. Forderung "Volle Gleichberechtigung für Frauen" in der römisch-katholischen Kirche einsetzt.

The "We are Church" movement is working for a renewed Roman Catholic Church on the basis of The Second Vatican Council. It was brought into being after the "Kirchenvolksbegehren" in 1995 and started in Austria. Today the international movement "We Are Church", (IMWAC), founded in 1996, is working in more than 20 countries of all continents and is connected to other reform groups.

The Purple Stole (Lila Stola) movement intercedes for equal access of women to all church ministries and functions, for feminine imagery for God, and liturgies which name and acknowledge the feminine in God and humanity. Lila Stola" can be found under 'Aktionen'


Catholic Women's Ordination (CWO)

CWO is a national group of women and men in the UK (including Scotland and Wales) who seek a renewed model of priesthood in the Catholic Church so that there is proper scope for the distinctive ministry of ordained women within it. Renewal of the Church is our first aim but the importance of women's ministry is integral to that, as is women's leadership within the church.

We support and campaign for women's call to ordination through annual gatherings, publications, lectures/debates, days of recollection, media releases and public actions. We believe that a Church which treats women with equality will greatly alter the demeaning attitude to women which affects so many, especially in poorer parts of the world. Ideology, which has been named as theology in all religions, underpins the reasons for women's poverty worldwide and it is why we are campaigning for change, especially in the Roman Catholic Church. Also a much more egalitarian Church should inspire the young rather than alienate them.



New Wine

New Wine is a group of women who live in Great Britain who believe they are called by God and by the community to ordained ministry in the Roman Catholic Church. We meet throughout the year in an informal context for mutual support, nourishment, and to better understand the joys and difficulties of our vocations as women in that tradition.


Green Madcaps

An environmental, feminist, social justice group of professionals. The Green Madcaps have been part of protests for #JusticeForJisha, Save the Artic (bicycling and street protests), Save Aarey, Gender Equality (Andheri Rises), participated in Standard Charted Mumbai Marathon supporting Sankalp (drug rehabilitation), and continue to share, speak to people in raising not just awareness, but making people realise their power in making change. Issues include:

• Parenting
• Gender Sensitivity
• Eco-theology
• Climate Change (for PPC, Deanery sessions, colleges)
• Relationships
• Recycling (with RuR)
• Organ Donation (at Marico, Xoriant, Kaya Skin, in Parishes, Malls)
• Addiction
• Pornography
• Gender labelling
• Conservation (of the Earth)





We Are Church (Ireland)

We Are Church Ireland (WAC Ireland) is a group of concerned Irish Catholics committed to the renewal of the Roman Catholic Church on the basis of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the theological spirit developed from it.

We are affiliated to the International Movement We Are Church and seek to bring about informed dialogue among the people of God on the five objectives common to every group in the International Movement We Are Church.

The five objectives of WAC Ireland are:

  • 1. Equality of all the baptised where decision making is actively shared by all, with appropriate structures for this.

  • 2. Full participation of women in all aspects of church life, including priesthood.

  • 3. Recognition of the primacy of an informed conscience.

  • 4. Promotion of a positive attitude towards sexuality and the removal of the obligation of clerical celibacy.

  • 5. An inclusive church, open and welcoming to all, which does not marginalise people because of their sexual orientation, marital status or for any other reason.



Nós Somos Igreja (We Are Church Portugal)

WAC Portugal is made up of Catholics who, according to the Gospels and the Second Vatican Council, understand that the Church is made up of all the baptized, who have a great responsibility in faith to the message of Jesus Christ.

WAC Portugal considers that there are reforms to be carried out in the institution, at the level of organization and operation, reforms expressed in the Petition of the People of God.

The Petition, with about 2 million signatures, was delivered to the Holy See in October 1997. In 2017, the WAC Movement exists in 21 countries.

The WAC Movement was formed in 1995 in Austria, drafting the Petition and collecting signatures. It quickly spread to other countries. It was established in Portugal in early 1997.



Women's Ordination Conference (WOC)

Founded in 1975, the Women's Ordination Conference is the oldest and largest organization that works solely to ordain women as priests, deacons and bishops into an inclusive and accountable Roman Catholic church.  WOC represents the 63 percent of U.S. Catholics that support women's ordination. WOC also promotes perspectives on ordination that call for more accountability and less separation between the clergy and laity.

WOC is a feminist Catholic advocacy organization that encompasses the diversity of opinion and action within the women's ordination movement. WOC advocates many paths to ordination by organizing demonstrations, press conferences and forums for dialogue and education, by speaking out against all forms of sexism and oppression in the church and by promoting different theological perspectives on ordination. We collaborate with church reform groups and secular women's rights groups to further our vision of a continually renewing, anti-racist, inclusive and just Roman Catholic church and world.





Housetop:     Catholic Internet Library

We are the largest internet site providing information and documentation on the ordination of women. Though we focus on the Roman Catholic Church, our work benefits all Christian Churches.  We offer thousands of documents in English and 24 other languages. Our material covers decrees of councils and synods, the teaching of the Fathers of the Church, medieval theologians, recent papal decrees, contemporary articles and ongoing discussions on scripture, tradition and the teaching authority of the Church. We also present picture galleries. One of the most exciting parts of our website is CIRCLES, a message board visited by thousands of visitors a day who either watch or take part in fiery, passionate, wide-ranging and often witty discussions. Come, read for yourself and dig in!



Roman Catholic Women Priests (RCWP) 

RCWP is an international initiative within the Roman Catholic Church.

The mission of Roman Catholic Womenpriests is to spiritually prepare, ordain, and support women and men from all states of life, who are theologically qualified, who are committed to an inclusive model of Church, and who are called by the Holy Spirit and their communities to minister within the Roman Catholic Church.

RCWP began with the ordination of seven women on the Danube River in 2002.  Reclaiming our ancient spiritual heritage, womenpriests are shaping a more inclusive, Christ-centered Church of equals in the twenty-first century.  Women bishops ordained in full apostolic succession continue to carry on the work of ordaining others in the Roman Catholic Church.  We advocate a new model of priestly ministry united with the people with whom we serve.  We are rooted in a response to Jesus who called women and men to be disciples and equals living the Gospel.



Saint Joan's international alliance

Our Alliance, founded in London in 1911, seeks to ensure that the practical equality of rights

The Alliance, founded in London in 1911, seeks to ensure that the practical equality of rights between women and men is recognized in all fields and on all continents. We are the only Catholic feminist organization that is recognized by both the United Nations and the Holy See, and is therefore in a crucial position to promote women's advancement throughout the world. 




In countries where there is no group, individuals may affiliate as members of WOW.  If a national organisation or group is subsequently accepted as a member of WOW for that country, then the individual membership comes to an end.

WOW currently has two individual members who come respectively from Bangladesh and Poland.