A Special Issue of the journal Third World Quarterly, guest-edited by UNRISD researchers Shahra Razavi and Anne Jenichen.
The special issue explores how religion as a political force shapes and deflects the struggle for gender equality in contexts marked by different histories of nation-building and challenges of ethnic diversity, different state-society relations (from the more authoritarian to the more democratic), and different relations between state power and religion (especially in the domain of marriage, family and personal laws). It shows how "private" issues, related to the family, sexuality and reproduction, have become sites of intense public contestation between conservative religious actors wishing to regulate them based on some transcendent moral principle, and feminist and other human rights advocates basing their claims on pluralist and time-and-context specific solutions. Not only are claims of "divine truth" justifying discriminatory practices against women hard to challenge, but the struggle for gender equality is further complicated by the manner in which it is closely tied up, and inseparable from, struggles for social and economic justice, ethnic/racial recognition, and national self-determination vis-à-vis imperial/global domination.
Table of Contents:
An Introduction. The Unhappy Marriage of Religion and Politics: Problems and Pitfalls for Gender Equality
Shahra Razavi and Anne Jenichen
Contested Identities: Gendered Politics, Gendered Religion in Pakistan
Religion, Politics and Gender Equality in Turkey: Implications of a Democratic Paradox?
Islamic Politics and Women’s Quest for Gender Equality in Iran
Homa Hoodfar and Shadi Sadr
Between Universal Feminism and Particular Nationalism: Politics, Religion and Gender (In)equality in Israel
Ruth Halperin-Kaddari and Yaacov Yadgar
On the Bodies of Women: The Common Ground Between Islam and Christianity in Nigeria
Charmaine Pereira and Jibrin Ibrahim
Gender, Religion and Democratic Politics in India
Religion, Politics and Gender in the Context of Nation-state Formation: The Case of Serbia
Democracy in the Country but Not in the Home? Religion, Politics and Women’s Rights in Chile
Virginia Guzmán, Ute Seibert and Silke Staab
Politics, Religion and Gender Equality in Contemporary Mexico: Women’s Sexuality and Reproductive Rights in a Contested Secular State
Ana Amuchástegui, Guadalupe Cruz, Evelyn Aldaz and María Consuelo Mejía
Reproductive Rights in Poland: When Politicians Fear the Wrath of the Church
Jacqueline Heinen and Stéphane Portet
Sex, Secularism, and Religious Influence in the US Politics
Elizabeth Bernstein and Janet R. Jakobsen