Gautam Buddha's teachings for the enlightenment of true self are imparted to both men and women without any distinction of sex, as both were considered to have equal spiritual capabilities. Vinaya Pitaka of Pali canon bears testimony to the fact that Lord Buddha himself said that a woman can attain enlightenment, the Buddhahood. According to Lotus Sutra, a woman who embraces this Sutra, not only excels all other women but surpasses all men.
Earlier, female followers of Lord Buddha were not allowed to enroll in the Sanghas, which were predominantly meant for male Bhikkus as it was thought that they might get distracted from their spiritual goals in the company of women. However, later, at the request of ardent female followers, Lord Buddha permitted women to join the monastic community as Bhikkhunis and allowed them to preach the Dhamma along with their male counterparts.