Gender, religion, and harm: conceptual and methodological reflections

Brenda Bartelink*, Chia Longman, Tamsin Bradley

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    The introductory chapter discusses the contested concept of harmful cultural practices (HCP) in its relationship to the equally complex notion of ‘religion’. Based on the advances made in policies, development work, and academic research on gender-based violence (GBV) and equality so far, from a feminist decolonial anthropological perspective, we suggest that although the notions of HCP/HTP and even the apparently more neutral ‘harmful practices’ (HP) are highly problematic, they remain somewhat useful terms to consider from a critical perspective. The chapter explores the tense relationships between religion and feminism and the broader histories that shape contemporary understandings and approaches of religion, gender, and harm, including the currently influential social norms theory. It argues that cultural relativism and decolonial critiques act as crucial analytical tools to understand gender inequality and work as allies in a feminist struggle against patriarchy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationReligion and Gender-Based Violence
    Subtitle of host publicationGlobal and Local Responses to Harmful Practices
    EditorsBrenda Bartelink, Chia Longman, Tamsin Bradley
    Place of PublicationAbingdon
    Number of pages25
    ISBN (Electronic)9781003246046
    ISBN (Print)9781032158709
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2022

    Publication series

    NameRoutledge Research in Religion and Development

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