Women in Freemasonry
Co-Freemasonry adds two salient strengths to those shared by all Freemasonry. First, it is international, linking together people of various cultures in the shared task of building the spiritual temple of human unity. Second, it restores full Masonic privileges to women, and has thus taken an important step to restoring the spiritual splendor of the ancient Mysteries, in which the participation of both men and women was an essential factor.
The term “Co-Freemasonry” or “Co-Masonry” was adopted to distinguish the Order from exclusively masculine or feminine groups and to indicate that both men and women are admitted to membership on equal footing. These strengths of universality and equality are essential elements for all Masonic work.
The term “Eastern” in "The Eastern Order of International Co-Freemasonry" refers to the symbolic East, the place of rising Light, rather than to a geographical direction. Similarly, our motto is "Ex Oriente Lux," Light from the East.
The participation of women in Freemasonic work is not an innovation; it is simply the restoration of an ancient landmark or essential of Freemasonry. In the Mysteries of Egypt and Greece, women and men worked together on an equal footing. Only in comparatively recent centuries were women excluded from the mysteries and privileges of the ancient rites that have been resurrected in modern times as Freemasonry.