Religion, Gender & Women’s Rights

ARISE Magazine, Issue 62

Together with our Partner ACFODE (Action for Development) we published the ARISE Magazine, a Women's Development Magazine. This issue deals with religion, gender & women’s rights.

From the Editor

Arise issue No. 62 delves into issues of religion and gender.Since time immemorial, humankind has been religious. And religion as an expression of our innate spirituality has not only evolved but has taken on several forms. Some, such as Christianity – in its various manifestations –, Islam and the Baha’i faith, have spread to the point where they have come to count among the major world religions. How do women fare in the context of these faiths?

A look at various Christian faiths – Catholicism, Anglicanism and Pentecostalism – throws light on the doctrines, attitudes, trends and motive power inherent within each one. In terms of numbers, to what extent are women involved in Christianity? Besides attending prayers, what other roles do women play in these churches? What opportunities exist for women to make headway in the hierarchy of each church? And for women who aspire to the top position in their church, is this a realistic possibility? Are the spaces that can accommodate women’s legitimate leadership aspirations expanding or shrinking? And why? Are women discriminated against more in some churches than in others? What about the issue of domestic violence –what does the Bible say about this? What about the thorny issue of divorce – especially in a situation where persevering in marriage might mean death? This question becomes particularly important in cases where domestic violence rears its ugly head.

The magazine also offers invaluable insights into the views and promulgations of the Qur’an on women’s place in the domestic sphere and in holy spaces and on why certain things are done in certain ways. The subtle – and sometimes not-so-subtle – differences in interpretations of the Qur’an regarding gender relations and how women should relate to Islam, greatly enrich the discussion. And so do the comparisons made between Islam and the Baha’i faith as far as gender relations and equality are concerned.

At the end of the magazine are reviews of two important and insightful autobiographical books – both of which dwell on the lives of emigrants to the United States who find themselves having to grapple with utterly different situations. The first, Behold the Dreamers, by Imbolo Mbue, originally from Cameroon, is about the struggles involved in finding one’s feet and trying to succeed in a new land. The second, When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi, originally from India, is about the certainty of impending death – at the early age of 37 – from cancer after everything else has turned out so well.

Arise No. 62 is a rich and varied tapestry of voices, views, experiences and texts that will set you thinking like never before about the nexus between the various major religious faiths and gender equality. And the book reviews are just the kind that will spur you to add yet another couple of captivating books to your must-read list.


You can download the whole issue as pdf.

Contact Person

Verena Kasirye

Verena Kasirye

Programme Officer +256 312 262 011/2

About this series

ARISE magazine features varying issues around women and development in Uganda. Whether women wearing uniform, working as farmers, or holding political offices: We review the trends and challenges women face in Uganda. The magazine has been published in cooperation with Action for Development since 1990.

Ordering Information


Action for Development & Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e. V.