At the crossroads of freedom of religion and women’s equality rights

Some reflections from South Asia


  • Saumya Uma


South Asia, women’s equality rights, religion, violence, discrimination, fundamentalist, patriarchy, synergy, human rights


Religion plays a positive role in society. However, in many parts of the world patriarchal forces, combined with religious fundamentalist impulses, have subverted women’s equality rights. This article examines the intersections between freedom of religion and women’s equality rights in South Asia, reflecting upon specific incidents and examples drawn from countries in the region. Both patriarchy and religious fundamentalism are pervasive and cannot be attributed to a specific country, region or religion but has undermined women’s rights in South Asia. International human rights standards may assist in addressing such violations. There is potential for a collaborative project between religious actors and women’s rights advocates.