Table of Contents

Handbook of Research on Development and Religion

Handbook of Research on Development and Religion

Elgar original reference

Edited by Matthew Clarke

With eighty percent of the world’s population professing religious faith, religious belief is a common human characteristic. This fascinating and highly unique Handbook brings together state-of-the-art research on incorporating religion into development studies.

Chapter 12: Gender, religion and development

Emma Tomalin

Subjects: development studies, development studies


Gender analysis of religions as well as of the development process has radically transformed our understanding of both. Feminist studies of religion have existed since the 1970s (Daly, 1973; Mernissi, 1975; Reuther, 1983; Ahmed, 1992; Singh, 1993). Literature has emerged from within feminist theology, religious studies and, increasingly, in feminist work within the social sciences that draws attention to the negative impacts of religions that often support patriarchal values that have the potential to oppress women and limit their life chances, as well as to the potential of religion to empower women (Aquino, 1993; Pen a, 1995, 2007; Sleboda, 2001; Dube and Kanyoro, 2004; Foley, 2004; Bradley, 2006; Phiri and Nadar, 2006). From the early 1970s we also find the beginnings of a critique of the development process from a feminist perspective, with the publication of Ester Boserup’s book Women’s Role in Economic Development (1970). In this text she emphasized the centrality of women to the development process, yet their subordinate position in most societies meant that unless this was addressed, poverty was unlikely to be overcome. While neither of these traditions of feminist critique would consider their work done and remain as important today as 40 years ago, both have developed with vigour and influence, representing a crucial voice against the male bias inherent both within religions and the development process.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information