Using Material from Itema and Elsewhere, Assess the View That Women Are No Longer Oppressed by Religion.

844 Words Jun 15th, 2013 4 Pages
Using Material from ItemA and elsewhere, assess the view that women are no longer oppressed by religion.
Compared to men, women are more likely to express a greater interest in religion, to have stronger personal faith and belief in live after death, and have a stronger personal religious commitment. Also to involve themselves more in religious rituals and worship e.g. they are more likely to attend religious services and they participate more in religious life generally. Bruce also found that women join or involve themselves with new religious movements and new age movements. Religion and religious ideology plays a part in maintaining the male domination over women that is found in many aspects of social life, achieved by religious ideas
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Menstruation is also another form in which women are ‘Polluting’. Within Catholicism, women are still unable to be ordained. Women’s presence may also distract men from their more important roles involving worship. Turner points out that in order to carry out priestly duties properly there must be a degree of policing the body and the presence of a woman there makes it more difficult. This demonstrates that religion gives a negative image of women.

Some Feminists argue that religion is still oppressive due to fundamentalism. Religious fundamentalism is usually against the increased autonomy of women because it violates ancient religious teachings and arguable male dominance of women. USA anti abortionist’s pro-life groups opposed women’s right to choose beliefs and this has resulted in some extremists blowing up abortion clinics and murdering doctors involved in the abortions. Cohen and Kennedy say fundamentalist reforms are born out of fear of women’s liberation undermining religion and the foundations of society. This illustrates how women are still oppressed by religion because they’re choices are being limited.

However there are arguments that not all religions treat women unequally. Reform Judaism allows women to become Rabbis since 1972 and in Sikhism women are allowed to hold office and recently female vicars have been allowed into the Church of England. Women largely

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