Is religion bad for women? Empirical insights into the relation between public religions and the human rights of women

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Abstract

Religion is a dynamic concept. It can be a means of supporting masculinist power structures as well as a means for challenging established gender hierarchies. This article therefore suggests the proposition that it is not religion as such constituting a problem for the human rights of women but the privileging of patriarchal interpretations of religion and the marginalization of progressive interpretations in many contexts, respectively. From an empirical perspective, thus, the question of the concrete conditions contributing to the ability of conservative religious actors to enforce their patriarchal views in politics and society arises. This article consults existing empirical studies on predominantly Christian democracies and Muslim societies to find answers to this question. It discusses the impact that the institutional relations between the state and religion, the significance of religion in the political party system as well as the confessional composition and the strength of religiosity in a society have on the human rights of women. The article, moreover, deals with the effect of democracy and certain rights on the promotion of women's rights in religious contexts. It demonstrates the requirement of and provides suggestions for further empirical research in this area.
Translated title of the contributionIs religion bad for women? Empirical insights into the relation between public religions and the human rights of women
LanguageGerman
Pages6-20
Number of pages15
JournalZeitschrift für Menschenrechte
Volume5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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human rights
Religion
democracy
interpretation
women's rights
party system
political system
empirical research
Muslim
promotion
politics
gender
ability
society
Society

Keywords

  • religion
  • women
  • human rights

Cite this

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title = "Ist Religion schlecht f{\"u}r Frauen? Empirische Erkenntnisse zum Zusammenhang zwischen {\"o}ffentlichen Religionen und den Menschenrechten der Frau",
abstract = "Religion is a dynamic concept. It can be a means of supporting masculinist power structures as well as a means for challenging established gender hierarchies. This article therefore suggests the proposition that it is not religion as such constituting a problem for the human rights of women but the privileging of patriarchal interpretations of religion and the marginalization of progressive interpretations in many contexts, respectively. From an empirical perspective, thus, the question of the concrete conditions contributing to the ability of conservative religious actors to enforce their patriarchal views in politics and society arises. This article consults existing empirical studies on predominantly Christian democracies and Muslim societies to find answers to this question. It discusses the impact that the institutional relations between the state and religion, the significance of religion in the political party system as well as the confessional composition and the strength of religiosity in a society have on the human rights of women. The article, moreover, deals with the effect of democracy and certain rights on the promotion of women's rights in religious contexts. It demonstrates the requirement of and provides suggestions for further empirical research in this area.",
keywords = "religion, women, human rights",
author = "Anne Jenichen",
year = "2011",
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volume = "5",
pages = "6--20",
journal = "Zeitschrift f{\"u}r Menschenrechte",
issn = "1864-6492",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Ist Religion schlecht für Frauen? Empirische Erkenntnisse zum Zusammenhang zwischen öffentlichen Religionen und den Menschenrechten der Frau

AU - Jenichen, Anne

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - Religion is a dynamic concept. It can be a means of supporting masculinist power structures as well as a means for challenging established gender hierarchies. This article therefore suggests the proposition that it is not religion as such constituting a problem for the human rights of women but the privileging of patriarchal interpretations of religion and the marginalization of progressive interpretations in many contexts, respectively. From an empirical perspective, thus, the question of the concrete conditions contributing to the ability of conservative religious actors to enforce their patriarchal views in politics and society arises. This article consults existing empirical studies on predominantly Christian democracies and Muslim societies to find answers to this question. It discusses the impact that the institutional relations between the state and religion, the significance of religion in the political party system as well as the confessional composition and the strength of religiosity in a society have on the human rights of women. The article, moreover, deals with the effect of democracy and certain rights on the promotion of women's rights in religious contexts. It demonstrates the requirement of and provides suggestions for further empirical research in this area.

AB - Religion is a dynamic concept. It can be a means of supporting masculinist power structures as well as a means for challenging established gender hierarchies. This article therefore suggests the proposition that it is not religion as such constituting a problem for the human rights of women but the privileging of patriarchal interpretations of religion and the marginalization of progressive interpretations in many contexts, respectively. From an empirical perspective, thus, the question of the concrete conditions contributing to the ability of conservative religious actors to enforce their patriarchal views in politics and society arises. This article consults existing empirical studies on predominantly Christian democracies and Muslim societies to find answers to this question. It discusses the impact that the institutional relations between the state and religion, the significance of religion in the political party system as well as the confessional composition and the strength of religiosity in a society have on the human rights of women. The article, moreover, deals with the effect of democracy and certain rights on the promotion of women's rights in religious contexts. It demonstrates the requirement of and provides suggestions for further empirical research in this area.

KW - religion

KW - women

KW - human rights

M3 - Article

VL - 5

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SN - 1864-6492

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