Our new research paper examines the relationship between development initiatives, the growth of religious fundamentalisms, and the state of women’s rights.

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A worldwide problem for women’s rights

Globally and in every religious context there has been a growth in the power and influence of religious fundamentalist actors. Although the violence that they are wreaking on women’s rights and human rights may differ and manifest in specific ways depending on the context, it is clear that this escalation is taking place across the world.

The paper presents a global picture of rising religious fundamentalisms. It details the grave human rights violations, and violations of women’s rights in particular, caused by state-sponsored fundamentalism, as well as by fundamentalist non-state actors such as militias, religious community organizations, and individuals.  

The control of women’s bodily autonomy is a hallmark of fundamentalist ideology that crosses religious boundaries, and is central to the way that fundamentalist ideologues exercise power.

Religious fundamentalisms have particularly high costs for women and girls. Fundamentalist reinforcement of regressive, patriarchal social norms are leading to the rise of violence against women, girls, and women human rights defenders (WHRDs).


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