Religion and Feminism: Is Religion an Obstacle or Opportunity for Women’s Empowerment?

March 19, 2016
12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EDT
Location: Salvation Army (221 E. 52nd St., New York City, New York), basement room

Religion is often seen as institutionalizing and perpetuating patriarchy, thus frustrating many advocates for women’s rights and equality. Often overlooked, early roots of feminism included religious voices, and faith-based organizations have worked with women and girls in various development activities for decades. Too often feminists and religious actors are hesitant to meet to discuss, not to mention collaborate on, development agendas.

An expert panel discussed stereotypes that divide these groups, as well as concrete examples from the field of development. Panelists also explored overlapping interests and creative partnerships, as well as the work of faith-inspired actors who at the same time hold feminist (or otherwise labeled) ideals.

The event was co-sponsored by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and the World Faiths Development Dialogue. It was an NGO CSW Forum Parallel Event at the 60th UN Commission on the Status of Women held in New York City March 14 to 24, 2016. The full schedule of parallel events can be found here.

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Event Summary March 31, 2016

Event Summary: Exploring Religion as Obstacle or Opportunity for Women's Empowerment

With a goal to open space for dialogue about tensions, misconceptions, and opportunities at the intersection of feminism and religion, the Berkley Center and WFDD sponsored a parallel event at the sixtieth United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York City in 2016. This report summarizes the dialogue.