Women's Rights and Religious Law
Domestic and International Perspectives
The three Abrahamic faiths have dominated religious conversations for millennia but the relations between state and religion are in a constant state of flux. This relationship may be configured in a number of ways. Religious norms may be enforced by the state as part of a regime of personal law or, conversely, religious norms may be formally relegated to the private sphere but can be brought into the legal realm through the private acts of individuals. Enhanced recognition of religious tribunals or religious doctrines by civil courts may create a hybrid of these two models.
One of the major issues in the reconciliation of changing civic ideals with religious tenets is gender equality, and this is an ongoing challenge in both domestic and international affairs. Examining this conflict within the context of a range of issues including marriage and divorce, violence against women and children, and women’s political participation, this collection brings together a discussion of the Abrahamic religions to examine the role of religion in the struggle for women’s equality around the world. The book encompasses both theory and practical examples of how law can be used to negotiate between claims for gender equality and the right to religion. It engages with international and regional human rights norms and also national considerations within countries.
This book will be of great relevance to scholars and policy makers with an interest in law and religion, gender studies and human rights law.
Table of Contents
Introduction Religion and Gender Equality: Defining the Conflict Fareda Banda and Lisa Fishbayn Joffe Part I: Gendered Rites: Gendered Rights? 1. Culture, Religion and Women’s International Human Rights Frances Raday 2. Marriage, Religion and Gender Equality John Eekelaar 3. Gender, Religion and Human Rights in Africa Fareda Banda 4. Implications of the Vatican Commitment to Complementarity for the Equality of the Sexes in Public Life Mary Anne Case Section 2: Negotiating Gender and Religion in State Law 5. Between Strict Constructionist Sharia and Protecting Young Girls in Contemporary Northern Nigeria: The Case of Child Marriage (Ijbār) Sarah Eltantawi 6. Spousal Relations and Horizons of Islamic Family Law Reform: The Role of Maqāṣid al-sharīʿa Discourses, Celene Ayat Lizzio Seven: The Woes of WoW: The Women of the Wall as a Religious Social Movement and as a Metaphor Pnina Lahav 8. Religious Coercion and Violence Against Women: The Case of Beit Shemesh, Sima Zalcberg Block Section 3: Religious Divorce in Civil Courts 9. The Impact of "Foreign Law" Bans On The Struggle For Women’s Equality Under Jewish Law in the United States of America Lisa Fishbayn Joffe 10. Systemic Misunderstandings Between Rabbinical Courts and Civil Courts: The Perspective of an American Rabbinical Court Judge Aryeh Klapper 11. 'Socio-Legal Gendered Remedies to Get Refusal: Top Down, Bottom Up', Yael Machtinger 12. Challenging Stereotypes: Gender Sensitive Imams and the Resolution of Family Disputes in Montreal Anne Saris
Fareda Banda is a Law Professor at SOAS, UK where she teaches courses on Women’s Rights, Family Law and Law and Society in Africa.
Lisa Fishbayn Joffe founded and directs the Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute of Brandeis University, USA.