Sadly, far too many institutions still cling to traditions and cultures that seek to keep women as second-class citizens. In so doing they are maintaining a position that is ultimately untenable. All institutions seek as much to retain the privileges of the ruling elite as to maintain tradition. In the case of the Church of England, the culture of the organisation at the top was to maintain the privileges of the old-boys club of bishops. This internal club fought a rearguard action, against the desire of many clergy and congregations, to prevent women priests from being elected and consecrated as bishops. Frankly, such a position was morally wrong, and hiding behind an interpretation of holy writ that grants special privileges to only one half of the human race is as unjustified in the Church of England as it is in every other religion.
Just as the Church of England did not founder from the wrath of God when it voted for women to become priests it will not suffer eternal damnation because women are now entitled to be bishops. On the contrary, this move may well ensure its continuation, precisely because it has unlocked the potential of the other half of its members.
It is heartening to see institutions reforming themselves to reflect the rights of the individual over the privileges inherent within the culture of the organisation. But it is only by constantly asserting the rights of the individual that cultures which still cling to the myth of women as second-class citizens will be encouraged to reform.
It is disheartening that, in a world where human rights are widely acknowledged, women are still striving to be treated as equals. It is also disheartening to see women kowtow to culture and tradition which places them in an inferior position. If the Church of England, with its nearly 500-year-old culture of misogyny, can reform itself then I'm sure any culture can bring itself into the twenty-first century. Clinging to 'culture' when it treads on human rights is a disgrace and should, and must, be opposed wherever it is found. To not do so is morally wrong.