My understanding of the role of the Jewish woman is placed on a higher level (spiritual) as per talmudic discussions, especially in the home. Yet in the synagogue setting they are relagated to a segregated area that is walled off.
True, they have the G-d given ability to propagate our race, but yet they are not on the pulpit or seriously governing orthodox services. However, the most difficult to understand is this:We say we relegate women to an esteemed position; however, in the morning liturgy, men appear to thand G-d that they were not made a woman. Please reconcile this.
The key to understanding the differences between men and women in Jewish life is to know that they have different roles. In general, men have a public, community role. Women are responsible to create a home within which a Jewish family can be raised and a husband can be kept anchored to the proper perspectives on life.
In the liturgy, men are thanking G-d for the opportunity to perform mitzvot. They first thank G-d for not being gentiles, who have only 7 mitzvot. They then thank G-d for not being slaves, who have more mitzvot. They then thank G-d for not being women, who have even more mitzvot, but are not obligated in positive mitzvot relating to time.
For an excellent discussion of these issues, I recommend this lecture given by Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg.
Rabbi Michael Alterman