Catherine Brekus says it has been both.
People often ask me whether Christianity should be understood as oppressive for women or as liberating for women. The answer is always both because Christianity is multiple. I think we have to speak about Christianities in the plural, rather than Christianity in the singular.
Having said that, it is clear to me that Christianity has been a major force for women’s activism; Christianity has been the way that women have voiced their opposition to oppression; and that Christian women have argued again and again that God wants men and women to be equal. And they make that claim on the grounds of the highest authority possible for them, and that’s the authority of God.