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Int’l Conference Will Be Held in Zimbabwe to Celebrate the International Day for Women

This will be a one-day conference held in partnership with the Cultural Centre of the Iranian embassy, as part of the celebrations for the 2019 International Day for Women on March the 8th and Iranian Day for Women on February the 26th.

The conference seeks to deliberate on the role, status and rights of women in Christianity, Islam, African Traditional Religions and other religions. It is therefore an inter-faith conference. The conference brings together scholars, religious leaders/ practitioners, students, representatives of civil groups and policy makers.

The theme of the conference is Dialoguing Women in Christianity, Islam and African Traditional Religions.

Concept Note

Certain religious views unduly elevate the status of men over women, have stricter sanctions against women, and require them to be overly submissive. While there has been progress towards equality, these religious views still lag behind the rest of society in addressing gender issues. There are fundamentalists within many religions who actively resist change. There is often a dualism within some religions, which exalts women on the one hand, while demanding more rigorous displays of devotion from them on the other. This leads some feminists to see religion as the last barrier for female emancipation.

As the role of women in the society at large has changed, religions have responded to the changes in a number of ways. New professional roles in religions and in the public sphere have been opened to women. Along with these changes, in some religions, a number of changes in religious beliefs and practices have been engendered, including the recovery of women”s share of religious history, changing images of the divine and changes relating to women and sexual equality, justice, leadership entrepreneurship, health rights, authority, education, politics and women’s rights. On the other hand, some religious groups have taken the lead in opposing women”s assumption of more public roles. There has been opposition to movements to free women from their domestic role through, among other things, abortion, birth control, and divorce. These issues have been joined to larger movements over which religious groups have become polarized. Thus the general pattern of changing roles for women has changed the structure and both the social and ideological stance of religions.

We are therefore calling for papers that engage the theme Dialoguing Women in Christianity, Islam and African Traditional Religions by exploring the multiple dimensions of the view that these religions can, and indeed must, play an important role in promoting women’s transition away from femininities of entrapment towards femininities of self-invention that enable them to fully participate in sustainable development.

The papers may relate to, but are not limited to, the following sub-themes:

  • Religion, Women and Leadership
  • Religion, Women and Entrepreneurship
  • Religion, Women and Culture
  • Religion, Women and Economy
  • Religion, Women and Society
  • Religion, Women and the Media
  • Religion, Women and Health
  • Women and Religious Authority
  • Religion, Women and Education
  • Religion , Women and Politics
  • Religion and  Women’s Rights
  • Religious Rules/ Laws specific to Women
  • Religion, Women and Sexuality
  • Religion and the woman’s role as  a wife
  • Religion and the woman’s role as  a mother
  • Religion and female role models

Important dates:

Deadline for the abstracts: 15 December 2018

Deadline for the main papers: 10 February 2019

Conference Date: 1 March 2019

Venue: University of Zimbabwe

Your abstract of not more than 300 words to mka830@yahoo.com or ishegusha2@gmail.com not later than 15 December 2018. You have to send your abstract on or before the abstract submission deadline.

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