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An Advocacy Brief: Post 2015 Development Agenda, Influences of Religious Fundamentalisms on Sexual & Reproductive Health and Rights of Women

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This brief by the Post-2015 Women’s Coalition highlights the influences of religious fundamentalisms on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women, as a key concern for the adoption and implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

From the Introduction: “The term ‘religious fundamentalism’ has connotations of regression and backwardness and has been used in debates, Islamic militancy activities5 , Protestant ideology, anti-Americanism and fanaticism. The use of the term in this brief does not signify one religion, but illustrates how the political (mis)use of religion may limit rights, including SRHR, of women and marginalized groups.

Religious fundamentalism misuses religion for political power, and selects specific aspects of modernity as going against religious identity and rejecting others. It is associated with conservative authoritarian policies. Religious right ideologies use discourses of religion and culture to maintain and extend power over the public and private domains. Religious fundamentalists impose their worldviews and apply religious law to all aspects of life. Women are often considered the custodians of family norms and honor and religion is used to control them in direct and indirect ways. As a result, their bodies and sexualities, as well as freedom of movement, reproduction, and dress, become sites of religious control. Extreme interpretations of religion have also impacted people of diverse sexuality.”

Read the full brief on the Post-2015 Women’s Coalition site here.

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