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Religion as a bridge between theory and practice in work on violence against women in Rajasthan

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This article shows how a focus on religion can highlight how and why violence is so deeply engrained in the lives of women in Rajasthan whilst also, through insights into ritual, illuminating those moments when women use religion as a source of strength and courage in responding to violence. Interviews with some secular NGOs working to end violence against women in Rajasthan reveal their focus on the negative impact of patriarchal religion in sustaining male dominance, thereby sanctioning the use of violence against women. Ethnographic research looking at women-only ritual spaces reveals how positive religion can be for many women as a social and spiritual space where they work through their problems both internally and with others. A simultaneously positive and negative view of religion could help outsiders understand why violence exists whilst also supporting creative and sensitive activism working with those women most affected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-375
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Gender Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

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