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Religion has historically oppressed women. [1] This takes many forms and has often been done in the name of "protecting" them. In many cases, women are also prohibited in holding religious positions.

There certainly are believers that consider themselves pro-women or feminist but this is too often contrary to their religion's official stance.



Skeptics Annotated Quran.jpg
For more information, see the Skeptic's Annotated Quran article:

A majority of Muslims belief that a wife should obey her husband. [2]

Islam has traditionally encouraged women to wear head coverings, such as a Hijab. Young girls are excluded from this practice.

More fundamentalist interpretations of Islam practice gender segregation for non-relatives.


Muhammad claimed that most people in hell are women, largely because they were ungrateful to their husbands. [3] [4]

Women are also considered to be deficient in intelligence. [5]

Sharia law

Main Article: Sharia law
  • Domestic violence against wives is permitted
  • Sharia law allows for polygamy. Polyandry (women having multiple husbands) is not allowed.
  • A woman's testimony is worth half a man's (or nothing at all)
  • Easier for men to obtain a divorce
  • A woman's inheritance is half that of a man
  • Muslim women may not marry non-Muslim men. Muslim men may marry chaste Jewish or Christian women.


Ultra-orthodox Judaism teaches that men and women should be separate unless they are close relatives. There have been at least several instances of Orthodox Haredi Jewish men cause flight delays after refusing to sit next to women passengers. [6]

"When a man and woman are together in a room, and the door closes, that is a sexual event. Not because of what is going to happen, but what has already happened. [7]"

A Hasidic school in London banned mothers from driving their children to school in an attempt to uphold their "traditional rules of modesty" and to enforce gender roles.

"They see any role that women take outside the home space as a bit of a problem and somehow it’s really hard for them to see women being independent and doing things on their own. They see it as a perversion of the traditional values of modesty. [8]"


For more information, see the Skeptic's Annotated Bible article:
The story of Adam and Eve is sometimes used to justify misogyny.

The role of Mary Magdalene has fascinated Christians for centuries, because of her close relationship with Jesus.[9] He is "apostle to the apostles, as she announces to the apostles what they in turn will announce to all the world". [10]


Main Article: Misogyny in the Bible

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Galatians 3:28 Bible-icon.png


An Arizona high school soccer boys team forfeited a match against another mixed gender team because it was contrary to their idea of gender roles:

"I know it appears to fly in the face of what everyone is wanting to promote today, and that is equality. It is based on a religious perspective that God created guys and girls differently [...] We want to teach our men that honor of ladies is just not in sports. We struggle how to teach that if we're allowing them to play against young ladies in a competitive game.[11]"

See also


  1. Nicholas D. Kristof, Religion and Women, NY Times, January 9, 2010
  2. Pew, The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society, 2013
  3. [1]
  4. [2]
  5. [wikiislam.net/wiki/Women_are_Deficient_in_Intelligence]
  6. Orthodox Jewish Men Cause Flight Delays After Refusing To Sit Next To Women
  7. Manis Friedman, Why Is Torah Law So Restrictive of Contact Between the Genders?, June 01, 2011
  8. [3]
  9. [4]
  10. [5]
  11. [6]
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