Returning Women to their Place? Religious Fundamentalism, Gender Bias and Violence against Women
Religious fundamentalism drawing from biblical texts and/or natural law has had a considerable impact on Eastern European politics, notably on issues concerning women. This paper addresses the misuse of biblical texts that perpetuate gender stereotypes and negative views on women, as well as religiously tinted discourse inspired by essentialist understandings of human nature, endorsing women’s subordination and legitimising domestic violence. Conservative Eastern European ecclesiastic leaders and civic groups use this discourse to defend traditional gender roles and the “traditional family”, even at the cost of accepting violence against women, out of fear of the so-called “gender-ideology”. This fear determined ecclesiastic circles and civic groups, like the Polish Bishops’ Conference and the Romanian Coalition for Family, respectively, to oppose the ratification of the Convention on preventing and combatting violence against women and gender violence.
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