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

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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.

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Translated title of the contributionIs religion bad for women? Empirical insights into the relation between public religions and the human rights of women
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)6-20
Number of pages15
JournalZeitschrift für Menschenrechte
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • religion, women, human rights

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