Religion

Women, Religion, and Peacebuilding: Illuminating the Unseen

Citation:

Marshall, Katherine, and Susan Hayward, eds. 2015. Women, Religion, and Peacebuilding: Illuminating the Unseen. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press.

Authors: Katherine Marshall, Susan Hayward

Abstract:

Many women working for peace around the world are motivated by their religious beliefs, whether they work within secular or religious organizations. These women often find themselves sidelined or excluded from mainstream peacebuilding efforts. Secular organizations can be uncomfortable working with religious groups. Meanwhile, religious institutions often dissuade or even disallow women from leadership positions. Women, Religion, and Peacebuilding: Illuminating the Unseen shows how women determined to work for peace have faced these obstacles in ingenious ways—suggesting, by example, ways that religious and secular organizations might better include them in larger peacebuilding campaigns and make those campaigns more effective in ending conflict.
 
The first part of the book examines the particular dynamics of women of faith working toward peace within Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism. The second part contains case studies of women peacebuilders in Africa, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, detailing how their faiths have informed their work, what roles religious institutions have played as they have moved forward, what accomplishments have resulted from their efforts, and what challenges remain. An appendix of interviews offers further perspectives from peacebuilders, both women and men.
 
Ultimately, Women, Religion, and Peacebuilding is a call to change the paradigm of peacebuilding inside and outside of the world’s faiths, to strengthen women’s abilities to work for peace and, in turn, improve the chances that major efforts to end conflicts around the world succeed. (United States Institute of Peace)
 

Annotation:

Table of Contents:

1. Religious Women’s Invisibility: Obstacles and opportunities
Susan Hayward and Katherine Marshall

2. Part I: Women Peacebuilders: Distinctive Approaches of Different Religious Traditions
Susan Hayward and Katherine Marshall

3. Catholic Women Building Peace: Invisibility, Ideas and Institutions Expand Ideas
Maryann Casimano Love

4. Muslim Women’s Peacebuilding Initiatives
S. Ayse Kadayifci-Orellana

5. Creating Peaceful and Sustainable Communities through the Spiritual Empowerment of Buddhism and Hinduism
Dena Merriam

6. Jewish Women in Peacebuilding: Embracing Disagreement in the Pursuit of “Shalom”
Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen

7. Part II Women and Faith in Action: Regional Case Studies
Susan Hayward and Katherine Marshall

8. An All-Women Peacekeeping Group: Lessons From the Mindanao People’s Caucus
Margaret Jenkins

9. Women, Religion, and Peacebuilding in Kaduna State, Nigeria
Bilkisu Yusuf and Sr. Kathleen McGarvey

10. The Politics of Resistance: Muslim Women Negotiating Peace in Aceh, Indonesia
Etin Anwar

11. Women Reborn: A Case Study of the Intersection of Women, Religion, and Peacebuilding in a Palestinian Village in Israel
Andrea K. Blanch, with coauthors Esther Hertzog and Ibtisam Mahameed

12. Women Citizens and Believers as Agents of Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Zilka Spahic Šiljak

13. Women Peacebuilders in Post-Coup Honduras: Their Spiritual Struggle to Transform Multiple Forms of Violence
Mónica A. Maher

14. Women, Religion and Trauma Healing: A Case in India
Anjana Dayal Prewitt

15. Strengthening Religious Women’s Work for Peace
Jacqueline Ogega and Katherine Marshall

16. Conclusion: Seeking Common Ground
Susan Hayward and Katherine Marshall

17. Appendix: Scholars and Practitioners Engaged with Women, Religion, and Peace

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Religion Regions: Africa, MENA, West Africa, Americas, Central America, Asia, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Israel, Nigeria, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories, Philippines

Year: 2015

The Symbolic Use of Afghan Women in the War on Terror

Citation:

Berry, Kim. 2003. “The Symbolic Use of Afghan Women in the War on Terror.” Humboldt Journal of Social Relations 27 (2): 137-160. 

Author: Kim Berry

Abstract:

This article analyzes the critical omissions and misrepresentations that accompanied the Bush administration claims that the war on terror waged in Afghanistan was "also a fight for the rights and dignity of women." The article incorporates the insights of Afghan and U.S. analysts, activists, and journalists, along with feminist theorists of Islam and the politics of representation, in order to problematize this characterization of a liberatory U.S. military action. Without such critical analysis, the article argues that we run the risk of using Afghan women as symbols and pawns in a geopolitical conflict, thereby muting their diverse needs and interests and foreclosing the possibility of contributing to the realization of their self-defined priorities and aspirations.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Men, Gendered Power Relations, Religion, Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Human Security, Terrorism Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, United States of America

Year: 2003

Brothers, Fathers, Terrorists: Masculine Assemblages in Glenn Beck’s Rhetoric of US-Israel Unity Post-9/11

Citation:

Chevrette, Roberta, and Lisa C. Braverman. 2013. “Brothers, Fathers, Terrorists: Masculine Assemblages in Glenn Beck’s Rhetoric of US-Israel Unity Post-9/11.” Feminist Formations 25 (2): 81–106.

Authors: Roberta Chevrette, Lisa C. Braverman

Abstract:

Through rhetorical analysis of Glenn Beck's keynote at the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Summit in Washington, D.C., and his subsequent "Restoring Courage" rally in Israel, this article examines the construction of a gendered and militarized "state of emergency" in which Israel and the United States stand together as brothers against their enemies in the modern era. In this discursive and political formation, Israel is constructed as a site of perpetual persecution, while anxieties about US global dominance are (mis)placed within its borders. This constructed emergency generalizes the nuances of Palestinian and Israeli experiences, while homogenizing Palestinians into a gendered and racialized terrorist Other. Offering a theorization of masculine assemblages, the authors analyze how, in the post-9/11 security state, the unification of US-Israeli interests is articulated through multiple interlocking discourses of masculinity. Through careful deconstruction of the masculine assemblages that bind together this epistemological and geo-political formation, this analysis contributes to postcolonial and transnational feminist theorizing by exploring how men embody and construct the nation-state, how discourses of race, religion, and nation assemble together through the concept of masculinity, and how these assemblages provoke states of emergency and impetuses for action.

Keywords: Beck, Glenn, Evangelical Christian Right, foreign policy, Israel, masculine assemblage, terrorist

Topics: Armed Conflict, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Race, Religion, Terrorism Regions: Africa, MENA, Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel, United States of America

Year: 2013

Fluid Masculinities? Case Study of the Kingdom of Bahrain

Citation:

Karolak, Magdalena, Hala Guta, and Neva Helena Alexander. 2014. “Fluid Masculinities? Case Study of the Kingdom of Bahrain.” International and Cultural Psychology 4: 159–74.

Authors: Magdalena Karolak, Hala Guta, Neva Helena Alexander

Abstract:

The need to assess male social roles and gender identity in the modern social context prompted the emergence of a gender specialized psychology devoted to the study of men (Levant, R. F., & Pollack, W. S. (1995). A new psychology of men. New York: Basic, p. 1). Indeed, the breadth of the study of psychology of men focuses on the crisis of masculinity in the West. Social changes related to rising male unemployment, female emancipation and transformation of the labor market undermined the position of man as the breadwinner; and consequently led to a gradual dismantling of the patriarchal organization of society (MacInnes, J. (1998). The end of masculinity. Buckingham: Open University Press, p. 55). This research is a qualitative study based on in-depth interviews with a sample of nine Bahraini men aged 20–40 and aims at analyzing the subjective experience of masculinity based on the case study of the Kingdom of Bahrain. A literature overview of the subject is followed by data analysis. Its specific cultural context presents a hegemonic masculinity deeply rooted in the organization of society and supported by religion. Nonetheless, rapid modernization of the region has prompted social, economic and cultural changes. Their impact on the male psyche has not been studied yet. As a matter of fact, research on how masculinity is experienced in the Arabian Peninsula is virtually inexistent. Studies devoted to the subject of masculinity deal primarily with the transformation of female and male roles in society (Elamin & Omair. Personnel Review, 39(6), 747–766, 2010; Schlaffer, E., & Kropiunigg, U. (2011). Saudi youth: Unveiling the force for change. Gulf analysis paper). Even from this perspective, Bahrain has never been studied. Our research is thus a pioneer work since it focuses on the psychological aspects of the construction and experience of masculinity and it deals with the subject of Bahrain.

Keywords: normative ideal, hegemonic masculinity, masculine ideal, feminine trait, luxury brand

Topics: Economies, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Religion Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Bahrain

Year: 2014

The Politics of Pain and the Uses of Torture

Citation:

Philipose, Liz. 2007. “The Politics of Pain and the Uses of Torture.” Signs 32 (4): 1047-71.

Author: Liz Philipose

Annotation:

Summary:
"Since September 11, 2001, the equation of Muslim with terrorist has lodged in the popular imagination in the United States. This conflation undermines the ability to distinguish between a few individuals who have committed or intend to commit acts of extrastate violence (terrorism) and the rest of the Muslim population, a population that consists of more than 1 billion people worldwide. Although public discussions of the so-called Muslim terrorist are often accompanied by disclaimers acknowledging that not all Muslims are a problem or that the political abuse of Islam, rather than Islam itself, is a problem, these caveats fail to dislodge the increasingly intractable conflation of Muslim with terrorist. This article examines how the racialized terrorist is produced through various war- on-terror tactics, including the indefinite detainment and torture of prisoners in U.S. military detention centers and the circulation of torture photographs" (Philipose 2007, 1047).

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Race, Religion, Sexual Violence, SV against Men, Terrorism Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2007

The Unlikely Terrorist: Women and Islamic Resistance in Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories

Citation:

Holt, Maria. 2010. “The Unlikely Terrorist: Women and Islamic Resistance in Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories.” Critical Studies on Terrorism 3 (3): 365–82.

Author: Maria Holt

Abstract:

Islamic resistance groups in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories have been accused of using terrorist tactics to achieve their aims. Although some critics suggest that such groups may also have hijacked the democratic agenda in ways that disadvantage women, their supporters claim that they are promoting a model of modernity that is empowering women. This article examines the reasons why some Lebanese Shi’i and Palestinian women support the resistance against Israeli invasion and occupation that is justified in terms of religion. Far from seeing the actions of Hizbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Palestinian territories as acts of terrorism, many women welcome the resistance as it brings dignity and meaning to their lives and enhances feelings of national identification.

Keywords: women, islamic resistance, Lebanon, Palestinian territories, modernity, female martyr, Hamas, Hizbullah

Topics: Gender, Women, Religion, Terrorism, Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2010

The Role of Religion in Women’s Campaigns for Legal Reform in Nigeria

Citation:

Adamu, Fatima L., and Oluwafunmilayo J. Para-Mallam. 2012. “The Role of Religion in Women’s Campaigns for Legal Reform in Nigeria.” Development in Practice 22 (5–6): 803–18. doi:10.1080/09614524.2012.685875.

Authors: Fatima L. Adamu, Oluwafunmilayo J. Para-Mallam

Abstract:

Legal reform is necessary but not sufficient to realise women’s rights. This paper compares two campaigns for legal reform in Nigeria: attempts to domesticate the UN Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in federal law, which resulted in defeat of the bill in 2007, and a successful campaign to introduce legislation to prevent the mistreatment of widows in Anambra State. It considers the role of religion in the campaigns, by examining how the women’s movement engaged with religious actors. The research shows that religious beliefs, discourses, and actors had a significant influence on the outcomes of the campaigns, in part because of the content of the proposed legislation, but also because of the strategies adopted by the campaigners and the interests of the religious bodies concerned. Despite the implication of religion in gender inequality, these cases show that religious teachings, leaders, and organisations can be allies rather than obstacles in achieving progressive social change. 

Keywords: gender and diversity, Governance and public policy, Sub-Saharan Africa

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Religion Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2012

Religious Power, the State, Women's Rights, and Family Law

Citation:

Htun, Mala, and S. Laurel Weldon. 2015. “Religious Power, the State, Women’s Rights, and Family Law.” Politics & Gender 11 (03): 451–77. doi:10.1017/S1743923X15000239.

Authors: Mala Htun, S. Laurel Weldon

Abstract:

Family law is an essential dimension of women's citizenship in the modern state. The rights established in family law shape women's agency and autonomy; they also regulate access to basic resources—such as land, income, and education—that determine a citizen's ability to earn a living independently, among other life chances (Agarwal 1994; Deere and León 2001; Kabeer 1994; Okin 1989; World Bank 2012). Yet family law is a notorious site of sex inequality, historically and in the present. Equal rights enjoyed by women in national constitutions are often contradicted by family and civil codes that subordinate women to the decisions of their husbands and fathers. In the early 21st century, family law in a significant number of countries discriminated against women, denying them the rights held by men and contributing to their disadvantaged social positions.

Topics: Citizenship, Women, Gender Equality/Inequality, Constitutions, Religion, Women's Rights

Year: 2015

Violence, Human Rights, and Piety: Cosmopolitanism Versus Virtuous Exclusion in Response to Atrocity

Citation:

Turner, Bryan S. "Violence, human rights, and piety : cosmopolitanism versus virtuous exclusion in response to atrocity." In The Religious in Responses to Mass Atrocity: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, eds Thomas Brudholm and Thomas Cushman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Author: Bryan S. Turner

Topics: Religion, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Violence

Year: 2009

Missionary Zeal for a Secular Mission: Bringing Gender to Transitional Justice and Redemption to Feminism

Citation:

Nesiah, Vasuki. 2011. "Missionary Zeal for a Secular Mission: Bringing Gender to Transitional Justice and redemption to Feminism." In Feminist Perspectives on Contemporary International Law: Between Resistance and Compliance, ed. Sari Kouvo and Zoe Pearson, 137-159. Portland, Or: Hart. 

Author: Vasuki Nesiah

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Justice, Transitional Justice, Religion

Year: 2011

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