This article offers a brief overview of the history of women in the Church based on the idea that Jesus Christ was "the true inspiration and proponent of their dignity". The author analyzes the position of the abbess of Las Huelgas, who held civil and ecclesiastical jurisdiction from 1187 to 1874, a figure that exercised powers that would be unthinkable today. The purpose here is to contextualize the debate about the role of women in the Church, showing institutional support for their work, challenging the idea that their contribution to the official and organizational activities of the Church is due to a series of accidental circumstances, and highlighting the fact that the true role played by women is not due to "participation in ecclesiastical office, but respect for the gift received". However, the paper also explores specific ways in which lay people may play a part in offices of the Church. Conclusion: The specific contribution of women is "an indispensable contribution to the growth of a culture which unites reason and feeling, to a model of life ever open to the sense of "mystery", to the establishment of economic and political structures ever more worthy of humanity" (Pope St. John Paul II, Letter of Pope to Women, 29 June 1995).