For many feminists ‘If God is male then male is God’ religion will always be the means to oppress and subjugate women and it is only through a secularized liberal paradigm that equality can be achieved. This inevitably has created a tension between religious and secular feminists and by facilitating a symposium with the overarching theme “Is Secularism bad for Women?” It could become a battleground that divides women and diminishes debates. It requires us to address whether the interface between feminism theory, western cultural practice and secularism has alienated and devalued the lived experiences of religious/non religious women and how we can secure a gender equality that is inclusive.
To answer the question of whether secularism is bad for women we need to establish what secularism means within a multicultural globalised Europe and can a secularist feminist approach to gender equality engage all wom...
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... feminist responses that maintain the emancipatory practice of feminism, the right to an express of a ‘God of one’s own’ and a commitment to a just, democratic egalitarian world.
The evidence that greater dialogue, which focuses on the common ideals of economic parity, political/cultural equality and personal recognition is failing to be incorporated in mainstream responses by feminists and women’s social groups towards religious women can be seen in the research of Dr Line Nyhagen. In her presentation ‘Religion, gender equality and citizenship: a battleground without scope for common ground’ she concluded that certain women’s social movements such as Women against Fundamentalism, Southhall Black Sisters and the European Women’s lobby atheism viewed as the ‘amniotic fluid of feminist thought and activism’ , with all religion seen as dangerous to women’s rights.
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