Book project: Religion, Gender and Citizenship: Women of Faith, Gender Equality and Feminism (completed)

Professor Beatrice Halsaa's latest book, Religion, Gender and Citizenship: Women of Faith, Gender Equality and Feminism (Palgrave Macmillan,2016), explores views and experiences of Christian and Muslim women living in Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom related to their faith, identities and citizenship. It also examines intersections between religion, citizenship, gender and feminism. 

How do religious women think about citizenship, and how do they practice citizenship in everyday life? How important is faith in their lives, and how is religion bound up with other identities such as gender and nationality? What are their views on 'gender equality', women's movements and feminism? The answers offered by this book are complex. Religion can be viewed as both a resource and a barrier to women's participation.

The interviewed women talk about citizenship in terms of participation, belonging, love, care, tolerance and respect. Some seek gender equality within their religious communities, while others accept different roles and spaces for women. 'Natural' differences between women and men and their equal value are emphasized more than equal rights. Women's movements are viewed as having made positive contributions to women's status, but interviewees are also critical of claims related to abortion and divorce, and of feminism's allegedly selfish, unwomanly, anti-men and power-seeking stance. In the interviews, Christian privilege is largely invisible and silenced, while Muslim disadvantage is both visible and articulated. Line Nyhagen and Beatrice Halsaa unpack and make sense of these findings, discussing potential implications for the relationship between religion, gender and feminism.

Beatrice’s previous book, Majority-Minority Relations in Contemporary Women’s Movements: Strategic Sisterhood (also with Line Nyhagen Predelli; Palgrave Macmillan 2012), has been reviewed in numerous journals, including The Sociological Review, NORA - Nordic Journal of Women’s Studies, the International Journal of Iberian Studies and more. The book compares and contrasts contemporary women’s movements in Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom, with particular attention to relations between ethnic majority and ethnic minority women and politics.

Beatrice’s last edited book, Remaking Citizenship in Multicultural Europe: Women's Movements, Gender and Diversity (with Sasha Roseneil and Sevil Sümer; Palgrave Macmillan 2012) develops an expanded, multi-dimensional understanding of citizenship as practice and experience, and offers a ground-breaking analysis of how women's movements have been involved in changing citizenship in contemporary Europe.

These three books have emerged from the research project Gendered citizenship in multicultural Europe: The impact of contemporary women’s movements FEMCIT, funded by the European Commission. FEMCIT was a large scale, multi-disciplinary, cross-national feminist research project, Beatrice was Scientific Director of the project, and led a large international, collaborative team of researchers. Beatrice is one of the editors (with Sasha Roseneil and Sevil Sümer) of the Palgrave Macmillan book series Citizenship, Gender and Diversity

Published Dec. 3, 2015 10:00 AM - Last modified Feb. 21, 2020 1:01 PM