Religion and Women Essay

498 Words 2 Pages
Religion and Women

Religion can be seen to act as a social control over women to a large extent. The feminist perspective argues religion serves the interests of men and cements patriarchal power. Karen Armstrong points out the ways in which God has been redefined by each era, by men to continually meet their needs. We can see this in relation to two main ideas, the nature of religious imagery. In most religions, women tend to be portrayed in terms of their "traditional" social characteristics. The "Virgin Mary" in Christian religion for example. Although a powerful figure her power, is ideological rather than political - the virtues of purity, chastity, motherhood and so forth are personified
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They are told they are close to God as they produce a soul of god when they are mothers but this is used to control them and they in turn socialize the children into the religion and the ideology, ultimately not recognising their inequality and it all benefits men. The nature of religious organisation is another issue when stating the extent to which religion is used as a social control over women. While women, feature strongly in both religious participation and to a certain extent, imagery, it is evident that there has been a very noticeable inequality between males and females in terms of positions of power and authority within religious organisations. Although some sects have allowed women to preach and spread the word, the majority of the world's major religions have tended to relegate women to relatively subordinate roles, in terms of their power, authority and influence in their organisation (which further reflects women's experience in the social world).

However the extent to which religion has been used vas a social control over women can be questioned as in relation to Christianity, the decision in 1994 by the Church of England to ordain women as priests and to allow them to take charge of Church services is a significant development to note. Also some religions do not convey the same ideology as others and are more egalitarian such
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