The study of women and Freemasonry is complicated and without an easy explanation. Traditionally, only men can be made Freemasons in Regular Freemasonry. Many Grand Lodges do not allow in women because they consider it would break the ancient Masonic Landmarks. Nevertheless, there are many non-mainstream Masonic bodies that do admit both men and women or exclusively women. What is more, there are many female orders associated with regular Freemasonry, such as the Order of the Eastern Star, the Order of the Amaranth, the White Shrine of Jerusalem, the Social Order of Beauceant and the Daughters of the Nile.
The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), and others concordant in that regular tradition, do not formally acknowledge any Masonic body that accepts women. The UGLE has stated since 1998 that two English women’s jurisdictions are regular in practice (The Order of Women Freemasons and The Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons), except for their inclusion of women, and has indicated that, while not officially recognized, these bodies may be looked upon as part of Freemasonry, when describing Freemasonry in general. In North America, neither “mainstream” Freemasonry nor Prince Hall Freemasonry accept women, but rather have associated separate bodies, which are “Masonic” in character, but not Masonic in their substance.