Gender equality and religion: a multi-faith exploration of young adults’ narratives

Sarah-Jane Page*, Andrew Kam-Tuck Yip

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents findings from research on young adults in the UK from diverse religious backgrounds. Utilizing questionnaires, interviews, and video diaries it assesses how religious young adults understood and managed the tensions in popular discourse between gender equality as an enshrined value and aspirational narrative, and religion as purportedly instituting gender inequality. We show that, despite varied understandings, and the ambivalence and tension in managing ideal and practice, participants of different religious traditions and genders were committed to gender equality. Thus, they viewed gender-unequal practices within their religious cultures as an aberration from the essence of religion. In this way, they firmly rejected the dominant discourse that religion is inherently antithetical to gender equality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-265
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Women's Studies
Issue number3
Early online date17 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

The final, definitive version of this paper will be published in European Journal of Women's Studies, 2016 by SAGE Publications Ltd, All rights reserved. © Page, S-J & Yip, AK-T

Funding: Arts & Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council under the Religion and Society Programme (Award no. AH/G014051/1).


  • gender equality
  • division of labour
  • women’s religious leadership
  • religious stigmatization
  • agency


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