Years long fight by LDS women for equality finally starts bearing fruit in the form of a new memo sent by church leaders

Female employees at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints headquarters will be finally allowed to wear pantsuits and dress slacks. A memo received by the employees at the Mormon headquarters in Salt Lake City finally abolishes the age old rule barring women from wearing pants and directing them to wear only skirts and dresses. Women's groups applauded the decision by the Church as a step taken in the right direction.

The church has also offered to give paid maternity leaves, parental leaves, and even to allow their male employees to wear light colored shirts, allowing them to break away from the traditional white shirt only rule for men.

Mormon women groups have been pushing for equality in the LDS church for a long time now. Leadership in the Mormon church has mostly been dominated by men, and women have never been allowed to take major leadership roles. The issue of equality has been debated in the church for years now, and the memo sent by the Church leaders is seen as a promising step taken by the Church towards realizing the goal of equality. The church only recently allowed its women missionaries to wear pants in mission stations where mosquitoes pose a serious health hazard.

The church has also decided to allow paid maternity leaves and a week of parental leaves. The church leaders recognize the importance of allowing parents to bond with their children during their formative years. It was about time that the church took cognizance of these issues and took decisions in the positive direction to soften their otherwise conservative rules. An employee of the Church believes that "The new policy represents a significant step toward bringing our practices into greater alignment with our values.”

"The new policy is a fantastic addition to the already generous sick and vacation hours BYU employees receive”, says Morgan Gardiner, an employee of the LDS Church, voicing the opinion that all the Mormon women would be having now that their years-long fight for equality has started to bear fruit. Gardiner is a classic example of the devastating effects of a lack of paid leaves, having delivered before the church rolled out the new rules. Gardiner is now at home, spending time with her child – but without any pay.

The church’s new rules will also come as a sigh of relief for women who have been battling at their workplace for the right to dress up however they want. Marisa McPeck-Stringham, for example, quit working for the LDS Family Services because she was asked to "stop asking about women being allowed to wear pants to work because it was never going to happen.”


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