From Mary Watt:
I read a story today that included mention of the black Bhikkhuni featured in the video yesterday.
The ordination of female monks in the Theravada Buddhism has been forbidden in Thailand by the reigning male monk. That is, females can be “nuns” but they cannot be equal in status to male monks, even male novices. A Thai female nun who has been studying Buddhism for 30 years is considered “beneath” a male novice who joined a temple one day ago.
The story explains that in Thailand, almost every family sends a male son to study at a temple for days or weeks. The male chooses whether to study to become a monk or go back home. Most go back home.
Females can be ordained as equal to monk in Sri Lanka and some other countries. In the USA there are monasteries with females equal to monks (in the Theravada Buddhist tradition). They were ordained in Sri Lanka or Australia. These devout females follow the Theravada traditions and holy days but they are not recognized in Thailand. Now the female ordained nuns and women studying to become a nun in USA are growing. It takes a few years to be ready to be fully ordained. They live and study at a female monastery in USA.
Here is the link: http://www.atimes.com/article/