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Is religion compatible with feminism?
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Religion oppresses women

Religious scriptures are used to oppress women, whether it in everyday life by denying socio economic opportunities, to utilising religion to justify abuse against women, both at home, or in conflict.

The Argument

Religion purports to be an ethical compass, yet many religions oppress women. Women are raped in conflict under a man citing scriptures from religious books, burned in the funeral pyre of their husbands if widowed in Hinduism due to the interpretations from a story, and have acid thrown in their faces if they wish to educate themselves, or reject a man. Religion has helped shape the idea of women being second class citizens as the idea is that god favours man, and as a result has justified the idea that abusing a girlfriend/wife or paying women less for their work is acceptable. This inequality justified by religion has perpetuated more violent forms as set out above. [1]

Counter arguments

It is not religion that is oppressive to women, it is the interpretation of religious texts that oppresses women. Over centuries, religious texts have shaped culture, and it is the misinterpretation of these texts that have given power to patriarchy leading to the oppression of women. Institutions accept and continue this trend, and this is why it is significant for women to take leading roles in these institutions to educate and challenge these ideas. In the Bible, there are many references to love, tolerance, and respect, and these are gender-neutral. Some argue that religious texts seek to empower women, but have been misinterpreted. For example, there is a verse in the Esephians that asks man and woman submit to each other, this has been misinterpreted to benefit one sex. Islam is often perceived as oppressing women, however in Islam, argues Sheikh Yusuf Mugisha, empowering women is one of the basics of the faith. Women are the pillars of the family, and their economic and social development is key. The reference to protecting women is the only constraint, aimed at ensuring the safety of women when they travel alone and far, it does not mean that they should be forbidden from working or studying. The participation of women in religion will allow these misgivings to be changed, as religion is not oppressive, it is read and constructed in that way institutionally. [2]



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Thursday, 19 Nov 2020 at 00:29 UTC

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