Jane Lampman writes in the Christian Science Monitor:
“We call ourselves Bible egalitarians,” says Mimi Haddad, president of Christians for Biblical Equality, a “reformist movement” of individuals and churches from 85 denominations. ... “Individuals around the globe who are conservative theologically, as we are, are seeing in the pages of the Bible ... a call for gift-based, not gender-based, ministry,” Ms. Haddad says.
Roles in the church should be based on the God-given gifts of individuals, which are without regard to gender, class, or race, they say, pointing to Gal. 3:28: “There is neither Jew or Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” ... “Paul taught mutual submission; he doesn’t mean that women are always submissive,” says John Kohlenberger III, an evangelical author of biblical commentaries and reference books. ... “We see women in the first three centuries called by every title there is in the church - deacon, apostle, elder,” he says. “It wasn’t until the fourth century when the church became more institutionalized that women started to get forced out.”
Conservatives are, naturally, resistant to the above perspective. They won’t even admit that a person might legitimately and reasonably disagree with them on this issue — their minds are made up and dissent is not to be tolerated. Women at all levels are being forced out of their jobs or simply marginalized to the point where their jobs as pastors and teachers are simply not longer fulfilling.
This is even causing such Christians difficulty when it comes to evangelization:
[S]ome Christians working in Eastern Europe have found that promoting female subordination undermines their evangelism. After years of communist egalitarianism, people aren’t very receptive.
Modern society is moving beyond some of the traditions which Christianity has preserved from the past — and that’s good, because we need to move beyond many of the things which some Christians wish to continue preserving. Some, like the subordination of women, are immoral and harmful.
Women & Religion: