Journal of the University of Alicante's
Institute for Gender Studies Research
No. 28, December 2016
Laicidad y creencias
Nieves Montesinos Sánchez
Beatriz Souto Galván(Coords.)
The aim of this study is to compare various proposals of women who fought for a more just society. We analyze how these anarchists and bourgeois feminists, from divergent ideologies andpositions, addressed issues as education, secularism, motherhood and marriage. With this purpose we have considered appropriate touse their texts and make them debate as if it was adiscussion, following the suggestions of dialogic feminism.
Keywords: anarchism, education, bourgeois feminism, dialogic feminism, laicism,maternity, marriage and religion.
Freedom of religion is a basic principle to any legal and political system that assumes the essential relevance of human freedom. However, other equally basic rights can be affected if that freedom is interpreted as autonomy of religion with respect to politics, protecting religious groups as given and closed realities. In its more consistent sense with gender equality, freedom of religion should require that other rights are not affected by intervention of religious communities. This does not involve a necessary contradiction between gender and religion if an open and plural conception of religions as communities of conversation is assumed. From this, religious freedom is not incompatible with the legitimate function of political institutions, domestic and international, to promote the egalitarian elements of religious traditions, encouraging internal debate and supporting the internal groups that try to overcome discrimination. Institutions truly committed to religious freedom should act so as women are no longer treated as mere subject of debate but actors in it, with a reflective and active role in their own religious tradition. A different conception of religions as holistic and static realities and favorable to treat religious arguments as exception to general normative models is incompatible with secularism and the gender equality that it should especially promote.
Keywords: Secularism, gender equality, State, religion, culture.
The World Social Forum (WSF) is a meeting place where social movements seeking to create an alternative to the capitalist globalization system, protected under the Charter of principles which, inter alia, stresses the need for the non-confessionalism as element to keep in mind when looking for alternatives to the neoliberal system that dominates the world. At the same time, the paradox which houses patriarchal attitudes in their midst is given.
This study analyzes a critical gender perspective the various editions of the Forum, and at the same time, highlights the achievements that women – thanks to the actions promoted by the postcolonial Feminisms and the work of the feminist dialogues (DF) – have gained throughout this event world through the promotion of a secular environment, so that gender issues are not cross element, but «hair», key aspect to create a more just and egalitarian world another possible world.
Keywords: Equality, World Social Forum, Post-colonial Feminisms, Capillarity, Secularism.
Over the last twenty years, the United Nations have addressed so-called «honor crimes» as a specific form of violence against woman, based on harmful practices that are the result of cultural and religious traditions rooted, that discriminate against women and girls and violate their fundamental and human rights, so that the United Nations has defined a set of international human rights standards that must guide the actions of States to prevent, combat and eradicate «honor crimes».
Keywords: United Nations, human rights, violence against woman, harmful cultural and religious practices, «honor crimes».
(1899-1935), beginner of feminism in Tunisia, was a towering figure who dedicated his best known work to describing and criticizing the edging situation women in his country lived in, while offering his own views on what had to be done to stop gender inequality. Said work, became a major discussion topic in the society of his time and cost him several problems with al-Zaytuna, Tunisia’s biggest religious institution, even though al-Haddad’s theories come from a clearly religious background. Throughout this article we’ll study the role of Islamic faith in his thought via the analysis of the proposals offered in his book, searching for continuity and rupture with the Islamic tradition of his time.
Keywords: Tunisia, , Islam, feminism, reformism.
At a time when Islam is of current concern in Europe, this research questions the significance of being Muslim for the daughters of Moroccan immigration in Spain, addressing the religious issue from the perspective and standpoint of young student women. It is proposed primarily to hear from them by means of in-depth interviews. The focus of the debate on the religiousness of the young women is the question of identity-construction, gender equality, individual and religious freedom.
Young students interviewed perform a critical and personal redefinition of Islam, which is summed up in the phrase, repeated by many of them: «I am a Muslim in my own way». This perception of their own religion is conditioned by gender, and connects with a transnational view of religion, which is no longer experienced as a preferably cultural and identity phenomenon, in order to become an intimate and spiritual experience, consistent with the notion of a personal God of postmodernism, defined by Beck as the individualization of religion.
Keywords: gender, Muslim women, religiousness, young students, bridging-generation
This paper aims to study the mechanisms that the Moroccan religious elite utilizes to preserve their stability recruiting leaders of feminist religious reformism. Our goals are to: study the elites and the feminist religious leadership in Morocco; describe the characteristics, nature and distribution of the Moroccan elites; review the political power, religious state and Islamic religious order in Morocco; analyze the feminist religious movement in Morocco; and investigate the process of cooptation of feminist religious leaders by the religious state elites. The methodology employed is qualitative and the selected data production technique has been life history. In conclusion we can say that the co-option by the official religious elites of a feminist religious leader demonstrates that the mechanism of circulation of the elites in Morocco is used to ensure their survival.
Keywords: elites, cooptation, feminist religious leaders, Morocco.
Agency has constituted a key concept within feminist studies and activism. Building on Saba Mahmood’s suggestion, this article seeks to show the pious modality of action in several Spanish new Muslim women, on the one hand, and to assess the agency of these women who conceive their freedom in the act of submission to God from a feminist standpoint, on the other. I will hold that the liberal and secular biases that the concept of agency that hegemonic feminism has naturalized need to be deconstructed, and that agency needs to be acknowledged beyond the dichotomy of patriarchal reproduction via-à-vis resistance. I will thus outline the main epistemological as well as corporal features of the pious modality of action, in which the body functions as much more than a mere sign. The conclusion will suggest that even though the framework in which the pious gender discourses are produced is indeed patriarchal, these women’s agency has an empowering dimension that leads them to reject and negotiate certain premises and situations in which gender inequalities (may) take place.
Keywords: Agency, muslims, women converts, feminism, piety.
From obedience to protest. Catholic laywomen before the Second Vatican Council
After the end of the Spanish Civil War, the Catholic Church and the authorities of Franco’s dictatorship collaborated in order to establish a religion of fear based on the strict control of moral and customs and an external and superficial worship. The renewed influence of the Second Vatican Council promoted a transformation towards a more personal and thoughtful religiosity built on a God of love. The aim of this article is to analyze how a group of Catholic women who have been living in Bizkaia experienced this change. The oral history, particularly useful in the study of identities construction, will be employed in this article. Therefore, it will be verified the position placed by the Second Vatican Council in the life stories of these women and how their updated faith encouraged them to change from obedience and passivity to protest and criticism.
Keywords: Religiosity, gender, oral history, Francoism, Second Vatican Council.
Patriarchal Catholic values are the key to understand the ideal of womanhood in Francoist Spain. In order to educate and to make acceptable this restrictive role, Franco’s Regime didn’t hesitate to use censorship over children and teenager publications. Through censorship regulations we will understand what role ultraconservative Catholicism played by both creating and to enforcing these laws. Besides, for a better understanding of how legislation changed and womanhood ideal evolved we will confront legislation against the most popular female teen magazines in their time – Mis chicas (1941-1950), Florita (1949-1961), Sissi (1958-1967), and Lily (1970-1977), four publications which show a clear evolution from the religious and educational first one to the more commercial and devoted to entertainment last one. In that way, we will try to understand if that changes were just aesthetic or if it was a real change in the Catholic values imposed by censorship.
Keywords: Catholicism, Francoism, Censorship, Female Teen Magazines, Gender Studies.
The process of feminizing Catholicism in Spain acquired greater importance in the second and third decade of the 20th century in a context of mass politics, the configuration of women as political subjects and the drive by the Church towards re-Christianization. In this study, the analysis of statistics from the diocese of Tarragona drawn up when Francesc Vidal i Barraquer was archbishop (1922-1943) confirms the sexual dimorphism or increasing differentiation of religious behavior between men and women that has been discussed by sociology. The evidence shows that women engaged more than men in prescribed worship and pious actions. Likewise, women were a majority in Church groups, essentially after the increase in tertiary orders and female congregations, whether these were contemplative or actively concerned with caring (the ill, the young and the poor). Women were involved in centres of Catholic sociability, which underwent a process of increasing politicization during the 2nd Republic.
Keywords: Secularization, secularism, feminization of religion, gender relations, Catholic sociability.
Through the analysis of different juridical bodies, manuals, dictionaries, law treaties and judicials files, we address some of the effects that the process of criminal secularization in Mexico had in the regulation of set of acts of a sexual nature, classified as crimes of incontinence, sensuality crimes or crimes against family order, public morality or decency, during the Nineteenth century. We show about the contradictions that occurred in the gradual separation of the concepts of sin and crime, and the supposed formal relegation of sin to the internal and private field. We conclude that this legal modernization entailed the maintenance of a christian values code, which operated as a tool of control and subjection of the female population.
Keywords: Secularisation, sexual crimes, virginity, honor, XIXth century.
Traditionally, religion has not been a center piece on the analysis of the prevalence of gender violence, even when in Chile, religious beliefs have had great influence on the imposition of gender norms and behaviors. Based on this, our main goal in this paper is to analyze the religious beliefs and expressions of older women that had lived gender violence in their relationships, and its role as a barrier to help-seeking. Life stories is the central methodology used, although historic, social and cultural context of the period was also analyzed.
Keywords: gender violence, older women, religious beliefs, religious expressions, barriers to help-seeking.
One of the manifestations that creates confusion within the context of the relationship between the secular state, the principle of neutrality and the exercise of the right to education, is the presence of religious symbols in public schools. Therefore, the main aim of this study is to analyse the representation of human figures with religious content in the early childhood education classrooms of public schools in a capital city. In half of schools visited there is a significant presence of human figures with religious content. It has been shown a transformation of discourse which surpasses the representation of the crucifix is observed. The visual representations distort the principle of neutrality of the state and their show more an intention of religious education that the development of the spiritual dimension. Our study gives new information about the treatment of religion and spiritual dimension in the early childhood education curriculum within the constitutionally secular school.
Keywords: public school, religious symbols, early childhood education, school environment, visual representations.
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