Ten Myths About Religious Fundamentalisms
The myths exposed in this publication come from the experiences of more than 1,600 women’s rights activists who responded to AWID’s Resisting and Challenging Religious Fundamentalisms survey, as well as 51 key experts who were interviewed for the project.
Together, these women’s rights activists represent a diverse group: ranging in age from under 16 to over 65 years of age; working on different issues and affected by different religious fundamentalisms; working at local, national, regional or international levels in various regions, and in organizations that range from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) to government and multilateral agencies. They include academics, human rights defenders, youth and development workers, as well as members of religious
Despite this diversity, we found many myths in common: myths we hold about religious fundamentalisms, as well as myths that religious fundamentalists would like us to believe. Our research reveals that the behaviours and impacts of religious fundamentalisms are clearly more negative than they would like to admit or take responsibility for. But it also reveals that religious fundamentalisms are not as simple to analyze as we sometimes believe. In other words, some major myths, promoted both from the inside looking out and from the outside looking in, were exposed by our findings.
This publication is about the top ten myths common to all regions and religions covered in AWID’s research. They can be countered by holding religious fundamentalists accountable for what they say and do, and by ensuring that our analysis most closely matches the lived experiences of women’s rights activists. By exposing these myths, we hope that we can contribute to strengthening resistance and challenges to religious fundamentalisms.
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