1st Edition

On the Significance of Religion in Violence Against Women and Girls

    194 Pages
    by Routledge

    194 Pages
    by Routledge

    In this ground-breaking volume, the authors explore two sides of religion: the ways in which it contributes to violence against women and girls (VAWG) and the ways it counters it. Recognising the very real impact of religion on the lives of women and girls, it prioritises experiences and learnings from empirical research and of practitioners, and their activities at grassroots-level, to better understand the nature and root causes of VAWG. Drawing on research done in Christian and Muslim communities in various fragile settings with high religiosity, this book avoids simplistically assigning blame to any one religion, instead engaging with the commonalities of how religion and religious actors influence norms and behaviours that impact VAWG. If the sustainable development goal of ending all forms of VAWG is to be achieved, how should actors in the international development sector engage with religion and religious actors? This book unpacks the nature of religion and religious actors in relation to VAWG, with the aim of giving greater clarity on how to (and how not to) engage with this crucial issue.

    Combining cutting-edge research with case studies and pragmatic recommendations for academics, policymakers and practitioners, this concise and easily accessible volume helps instigate discussion and engagement with the incredibly important relationships between religion and VAWG.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

    Part I: Introduction

    1. Why religion matters in violence against women and girls

    Part II: Religion contributing to violence against women and girls

    2. Orientation: The role of religion in contributing to violence against women and girls and its consequences

    3. A Christian perspective: Religion contributing to violence against women and girls and its consequences

    4. A Muslim perspective: Religion as intersecting risk in violence against women and girls

    5. Joint reflections on religion contributing to violence against women and girls

    Part III: Religion countering violence against women and girls

    6. Orientation: The role of religion in countering violence against women and girls

    7. A Christian perspective: Drawing on religion to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls

    8. A Muslim perspective: Religion as protective resource in violence against women and girls

    9. Joint reflections on religion countering violence against women and girls

    Part IV: Looking to the future

    10. Now what? Implications for researchers, policy makers and practitioners


    Elisabet le Roux is Research Director of the Unit for Religion and Development Research at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

    Sandra Iman Pertek is Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, UK, and gender specialist in humanitarian, development and forced displacement settings.

    "Innovative, evidence-based and thought-provoking. The authors analyse, critique and chart a way forward for both faith-inspired and secular actors working on some of the most pertinent issues of our times. This book is not only a must-read, but a roadmap for women’s dignity."

    Azza Karam, Secretary General, Religions for Peace

    "Through an analytical exploration based on stories of agency and wisdom of Christian and Muslim women and religious leaders, this authoritative and insightful book proposes an unmatched view of religion and the imperative to consider the positive role faith can play in ending VAWG."

    Angelica Pino, Grants Manager, SVRI

    "This is a nuanced and accessible analysis of the significance of religion in VAWG in two faith traditions, Christianity and Islam. Its focus on women’s religious experiences in the context of violence fills a gap in the literature available for academics, policymakers and practitioners."

    Brenda Bartelink, University of Groningen, The Netherlands

    "When working with gender equality in religious societies, I often felt overwhelmed and confused. Having read this book, I feel much better equipped to navigate the complexity. It is clear, pedagogical and full of real voices. I warmly recommend to all."

    Virginia Manzitti, Head of Sector, European Commission DEVCO/INTPA

    "A must-read for all practitioners, academics and policymakers committed to ending violence against women and girls. Without shying away from the complexity, le Roux and Pertek state the case and offer essential recommendations for secular and religious actors to more effectively collaborate to end violence."

    Andrea Kaufmann, World Vision International

    "This book is for those who want a more nuanced understanding of the ambiguous role of religion in VAWG, based on the authors' own research experience and the projects of various organizations. You will enjoy the differentiated approach based on sound, up-to-date research."

    Benjamin Kalkum, Development Worker for GIZ Zambia