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The International Survey of Catholic Women (ISCW) was commissioned by Catholic Women Speak to prepare a submission to the Synod of Bishops as part of the Synod 2021-2024 consultative process initiated by Pope Francis. It is one of the most extensive surveys of its kind ever undertaken. It is a significant and unique resource in its aim to listen to diverse voices to better discern what it means to “journey together” as the People of God in a Church of many cultures.


The survey was devised and managed by researchers Drs Tracy McEwan and Kathleen McPhillips at the University of Newcastle, Australia, and Professor Tina Beattie, Professor Emeritus at the University of Roehampton, London. It was published in eight languages (English, French, Polish, Italian, Mandarin, German, Spanish, and Portuguese), and distributed between 8 March (International Women’s Day) and 26 April 2022. It attracted more than 17,000 responses from 104 countries.

While the survey does not claim to be representative of all Catholic women, it provides a rich insight into the complex realities of Catholic women’s lives, the ways in which they express their faith, and their relationships with the institutional Church. The substantial findings should thus inform lasting and genuine change in church institutions, structures, and practices.

Read the summary report submitted to the Synod in September 2022.

Read the full report prepared by Drs McEwan and McPhillips, published in March 2023.

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