Gender discrimination in religion

While discussing about “Narrating Location: Space, Age and Gender among Bengali Elders in East London” by Katy Gardner in class, we talked about the space in Mosques for women in Muslim community. I wonder about why women are not allowed in Mosques or why there is separate section for women or men. We talked about different reasons such as because of menstruation cycle, because of household chores, because it is comfortable for women to pray in their house and so on. No matter what the reason is women have been and are always discriminated against men in every aspect. Though, today, the level of discrimination has reduced, in some cases such as in religious purposes they are still highly discriminated.

In our Hindu religion, women have high position in religious matters. There are many female goddesses who are considered superior than male gods. Furthermore, in Nepalese culture, we have a living goddess called Kumari. She is a small child and is worshiped as goddess until her menstruation cycle starts. When the cycle starts, the goddess in replaced by another child. From the history, Nepalese people have been worshiping her as Goddess. Moreover, there are no such restrictions for women to go temples. In fact, the number of women going temple to worship god is more than the number of men in our community. However, despite the fact that women are worshiped as goddesses, they are still discriminated against men. Similarly to Muslim religion, women are not allowed to go temples and pray during their menstruation cycle. They are considered impure during this period and are refrained from any kind of religious events. In Nepal, there are few temples where women cannot go to worship after their menstruation cycle starts. Although a female goddess is worshiped in those temples, women whose menstruation cycle has started cannot enter the temple. Moreover, until now I have not seen or heard about of any women priests in any temples.

Therefore, not only in Muslim community, women are discriminated against in Hindu community as well. The reasons may be the same or different but they are discriminated. Thus, women have to aware of this discrimination and have to stand up for their rights by their own.

Digya Shrestha

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2 Responses to Gender discrimination in religion

  1. vythai says:

    Dear Digya,
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge about discrimination against women in religion. Indeed, in mamy countries, women are still treated inequally even though they are also human beings as men are. I cannot understand why people started these rules to differ women from men. They are the other half of the world, so they need to have the same rights as the other sexes have. I like the way you raise the problems and awareness among us. Let’s “stand up for “our” rights by “our” own.”

  2. phamtram says:

    Hey Digya,
    I think that gender discrimination has absorbed so deeply in human beings’ thoughts that it seems to be impossible to remove. However, with the solidarity of all women in the world and the support from other men who are the protagonists of equality between men and women, i hope that we can change impossibility into possibility. Hope that one day in the future, the image of women will be honoured in everywhere, at everytime, and by everyone.

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