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Nussbaum on Religion and Women's Rights - Essay Example

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Nussbaum on Religion and Women's Rights

In most of those works, she has taken stance strongly favoring the rights of the humans, including men and women, to freely practice their religions. At the same time, she also opined that those religions could have certain practices and traditions which restrict women’s freedom and go against their equality. This paper will first discuss Nussbaum’s views on religion and women’s rights, particularly focusing on why states should not intervene in this complex issue. Then, in the second part of the paper, we will critically discuss these views of Nussbaum on religion and women’s rights, from personal perspective and with perspectives from other thinkers. Martha Nussbaum in most of her works, including her books and various essays, took a balanced stance regarding religion and women’s rights, without criticizing either of the two key integral components. She is of the opinion that good aspects of religion has to be followed without fail, and at the same time, the aspects, which are in contravention with the women’s rights have to be viewed critically....
“Incidentally, this echoes her recent indictment of Susan Okin’s Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women and Okin’s Western secularist dismissal of religion” (Hackett 8). Nussbaum criticized those views of Western feminists by pointing how women particularly in non-Western countries view religions favorably for its optimal mobilizing properties, and how they give more importance to religion even forgoing their personal rights. States understanding this perspective of women avoid intervening in areas where there are complex conflicts between religion and women. In addition, Nussbaum points out more certain aspects regarding how religion can have a positive influence on all humans, particularly the women. First, she puts forward the perspective that religious tenets including faith, membership and related religious activities can aid the humans optimally, in the pursuit of general capability goals, including in the search to find inner peace and other ultimate meanings. When one focuses on religion based restriction on women, the religion of Islam is viewed in negative stereotypes. However, according to Nussbaum, Islam does not view women inferiorly, and has a set of moral code, which is similar to both men and women. Nussbaum further states that this fact is being accepted by the Islamic feminists as well. “Is Islam sexist in its origins? Not to many Islamic feminists, who stress that women and men are held to share a single essential nature, and that the Koran recommends similar norms of modest conduct to both women and men” (Nussbaum 106). Thus, Nussbaum views religion not in negative light in relation to women’s rights, and even criticizes the western feminists for treating non-western religions as patriarchal and regressive. In line ...Show more


Religion and women are two of the integral ‘components’ of the society, and interaction between the two gives rise to various perspectives as well as debates…
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Nussbaum on Religion and Womens Rights essay example
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