Several Lodges working under the principles of a single Constitution make up an “Obedience” or Masonic group.
The nineteenth century was the ground for the struggle for more rights, including women’s access to civil rights.
On January 14, 1882, a journalist, Maria Deraismes, became the first woman to be initiated into a male Freemasons Lodge. But it was only eleven years later, on April 4, 1893, that Maria Deraismes and Dr. Georges Martin, a Freemason and a feminist, created the first co-Masonic Lodge of “Le Droit Humain”, in Paris. This event revolutionized the “Male Only” Masonic world.
Born out of this Lodge in 1901, the International Order of Freemasonry for Men and Women “Le Droit Humain” asserts in its statutes the equality of men and women for the very first time in an Obedience. The other main principles are: internationalism, the initiatory continuity from the 1st to the 33rd degree according to the “Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite”, as well as the rejection of any dogmatism.
Today, “Le Droit Humain” brings together 30,000 members, in more than 60 countries, on five continents. It is composed of Freemasons, men and women fraternally united, without distinction on grounds of ethnicity, philosophy or religion. Their reflections focus on:
– Societal issues
The Cornerstones of the Order
The first three articles constituting the International Order of Freemasonry for Men and Women “Le Droit Humain” are:
- The Order affirms the equality of men and women and, through its title, advocates equal and universal social justice, within a humanity organized in free and fraternal societies;
- Composed of male and female Freemasons, united without distinction on grounds of social, racial or ethnic origin, philosophical opinion or religion, the Order prescribes a ceremonial and symbolic method to achieve this goal;
- Respectful of secularism, of all beliefs, its members seek, above all, to realize on earth and for all human beings, the greatest possible degree of moral, intellectual and spiritual development.