Women Strengthening Pluralist Co-Existence in Contemporary Indonesia: Analyzing the Role of Komnas Perempuan and the Koalisi Perempuan


The battles these women had waged for legal, religious, economic, social, and other forms of equality since the 1980s had started to bear fruit; new opportunities had opened to women, and debates about their legal rights had reached the public press and political platforms.

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Defining Feminisms, Upholding Equality

Paola Bernardini rightly points out that one must be wary of the term “Western feminism.” Likewise, “Islamic feminism” is often taken by observers to mean any gender thinking and practice advocated by Muslim women — who are blithely labeled “Islamic feminists.” But such so-called “Islamic feminism” typically represents a patriarchal version of Islam, albeit mainly a “soft patriarchy” in which complementarity overrides equality. Read the full article »

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Woman and Her Complementary Relationship to Man

In response to the stirring invitation issued by Paola Bernardini to offer a theological account of the complementarity of women and men “without jeopardizing their equality,” I would like to take a close look at both the complementary relationship and equality of the sexes from a biblical perspective. To do so, I would like to begin at the beginning, as it were, with the Genesis account of the creation of man and woman.

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Debating the Status of Women in Tunisia

As noted in a previous post on the Contending Modernities blog by Michael Driessen, post-authoritarian Tunisia has become the site of fascinating debate between contending modernities — one being self-consciously Islamist and democratic and the other being assertively secular and liberal. One battlefield where the conflict is currently fiercest is the status of women.

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Inequality, Masculinity & Modernity

In the weeks and months after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, speculation swirled over the attackers’ possible motivations. The pseudo-religious zeal of Mohammed Atta’s final letter to his comrades was only one aspect of it. Attention also centered on the attackers’ possible socioeconomic motivations. Theirs was not a problem of absolute poverty, of course, but of relative poverty. In their new environs, they could never quite fit in culturally—or perhaps religiously, morally, or spiritually—given the marginalization of immigrants that persists in many European countries even among immigrants who aspire to “assimilate.”

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Truth & Reconciliation Amid Sexual Violence


Like many universities around America, Notre Dame recognized Sexual Assault Awareness Week at the end of last month (February 20-27) in a world in which sexual violence against women and girls—and sometimes men and boys—remains a persistent evil. As one of the world’s oldest forms of violence, present throughout the ages, particularly in situations of conflict and war, sexual violence seems distinctly anti-modern from both religious and secular perspectives. How is it that sexual violence remains such a blot on human nature, human society and, particularly, the relationship between men and women?

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