Saturday, September 21, 2013
Dhrubajyoti Bhattacharya, Loyola Univ. of Chicago, "Engaging Religion to Promote Female Empowerment and Health: Case Studies in Hinduism and Islam," 8 Women’s Policy Journal of Harvard 23 (2010). Available here.
In South Asia, numerous health-related issues, such as unsafe abortions, sex-selective abortions, lack of access to contraceptives, and domestic violence, continue unabated. Rather than recycle decades-old arguments citing "human rights" violations, this article examines motifs of autonomy, equality, and empowerment within the Indian and Pakistani cultures, focusing on Hinduism and Islam, respectively, to promote female empowerment. In doing so, the article highlights opportunities for cultural engagement -- rather than examples of legal derogation -- to support communities in a diaspora where the separation of church and state is hardly rigid and socioreligious dialogue can be utilized to enhance gender parity.