Woman: Swamiji, would you say something about the place of women in your movement?
Prabhupāda: There is no distinction between man and woman. That is clearly said in the Bhagavad-gītā. Māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye 'pi syuḥ pāpā-yonayaḥ striyo śūdrās tathā vaiśyāḥ (BG 9.32). The first is mentioned, striya. Striyaḥ śūdrās tathā vaiśyāḥ. These classes are understood to be less intelligent-woman, śūdra, and the vaiśyas. But Kṛṣṇa says, "No, even for them it is open." Because in the spiritual platform there is no such distinction, man, woman, or black, white, or big or small. No. Everyone is spirit soul. Paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18). Vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmaṇe gavi hastini śuni caiva śva-pāke ca paṇḍitāḥ (BG 5.18), one who is actually learned, he is sama-darśinaḥ. He does not make any distinction. But so far our material body is concerned, there must be some distinction for keeping the society in order.
Woman: The women could become paṇḍitas, then.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim. Not only come, she can also attain perfection. There is no such restriction. Kṛṣṇa said.
Woman: Do you have any paṇḍitas in the Western movement?
Prabhupāda: There are so many Western woman, girls, in our society. They are chanting, dancing, taking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Of course, because superficially, bodily, there is some distinction, so we keep women separately from men, that's all. Otherwise, the rights are the same.
Prof. O'Connell: Is it possible, Swamiji, for a woman to be a guru in the line of disciplic succession?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Jāhnavā devī was-Nityānanda's wife. She became. If she is able to go to the highest perfection of life, why it is not possible to become guru? But, not so many. Actually one who has attained the perfection, she can become guru. But man or woman, unless one has attained the perfection.... Yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā sei guru haya (CC Madhya 8.128). The qualification of guru is that he must be fully cognizant of the science of Kṛṣṇa. Then he or she can become guru. Yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā, sei guru haya. (break) In our material world, is it any prohibition that woman cannot become professor? If she is qualified, she can become professor. What is the wrong there? She must be qualified. That is the position. So similarly, if the woman understands Kṛṣṇa consciousness perfectly, she can become guru.