Women in Church Governance: International Women’s Day 08 March 2021

8 March 2021 by

There is a part of the Catholic Church where women consistently have a place as equals in Church governance.


The annual report on women in Ministerial Public Juridic Persons (PJP) governance has, for the fourth year, shown women are close to equally represented as both as Canonical Stewards (aka Trustees) and as Directors of their Boards.


2018 2019


Female MPJP Canonical Stewards 

60% 59% 56%


Female Board Directors appointed by MPJP Trustees


52% 54%




Eva Skira, Chair of the Council of the Association of Ministerial PJPs said:


“ASX listed companies have had a target of 30% women on their boards[1] for some time but we have consistently about 50% due in large part to the tradition many of us inherited from women Religious who have always governed their own Religious Institutes.”


Under canon law, Church property and ministries are usually entrusted to either: a Bishop; the leader of a Religious Institute/Order or to the Canonical Stewards of a Ministerial PJP.


Ministerial PJPs in Australia are relatively new, having emerged over the past three decades to steward the ministries previously in the care of Bishops/Parishes or Religious Institutes.

There are now eleven Ministerial PJPs responsible for education, health, aged care, welfare and other ministries across Australia. They are: Calvary Ministries, Catholic Healthcare, Dominican Education Australia, Edmund Rice Education Australia, Good Samaritan Education, Kildare Ministries, Mary Aikenhead Ministries, Mercy Partners, MercyCare, St John of God Australia; and Sophia Education Ministries.


[1] https://aicd.companydirectors.com.au/media/media-releases/asx-200-hits-30-per-cent-women-on-boards

International Women’s Day logo used with permission