Reflecting on Women’s Rights and Religion in Today’s World




Wednesday, April 16, 2014

@ 1 -3 PM



CRCS, Room 406

Gedung Sekolah Pascasarjana, UGM

Jl. Teknika Utara, Pogung, Yogyakarta

Tel. 544 976





My presentation is firstly a brief survey of some of the more demanding dilemmas that are today facing women from different countries and religions of the world who are also interested in womens’ rights. Right themselves are under pressure from a number of diverse quarters. The first problem is that there is strong opposition to further progress to womens’ right from religious fundamentalists in a number of religion, e.g. Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam. Secondly, from another perspective, secularists are also against any extension of rights to women in religions, wanting to keep a firm division between public and private worlds. In addition, postcolonial scholars are critical of human right as simply one more modern Western importation. The basic problem is that in all these inssues religion and rights are positioned as mutually exclusive – in a binary opposition. I will suggest that rights and religion are not necessarily incompatible, and that women from diverse religious backgrounds need to cooperate and begin to dialogue about constructive ways in which religion and womens’ rights can be combined.  This may not necessarily always incorporate the language of the rights, but other terms such as “gender mainstreaming” or gender equity.  



Morny Joy is a professor in the Dept. Of Religious Studies, University of Calgary, Canada. She received her doctorate degree from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, in Religious Studies in 1981. She is a life Member of Clare Hall, University Cambridge, England. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Helsinki in 2011. She serves on the Executive Committee of IAHR (International Association for the Study of Religion). She is also a Past President of The Canadian Society for the Study of Religion.



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