Understanding Religious Fundamentalisms for Activists


This manual is designed for activists, networks and organizations confronting religious fundamentalist opposition to their rights-based work. AWID has prepared this manual based on the experiences and analysis of hundreds of women’s rights activists in diverse regions of the world, with the aim of offering an accessible resource to inform and support advocacy, strategies and dialogue on the issue of religious fundamentalisms.

The manual is divided into four chapters that build on each other.

chapter 1 describes the main shared characteristics of religious fundamentalisms as defined by women’s rights activists, and provides a brief historical perspective, as well as reflections and challenges regarding the term.

chapter 2 provides an outline of some of the main sociocultural, economic and political factors that may enable the rise of religious fundamentalisms.

chapter 3 focuses on some key religious fundamentalist strategies, including their arguments and messaging.

chapter 4 identifies some of the strategies that feminist and other rights-based activists and movements are using to resist religious fundamentalisms.

chapter 5 suggests a series of group activities for use in workshops, and ends with a selection of web links and video resources relating to religious fundamentalisms and rights-base efforts to challenge them.