Feminists on the Frontline: Case Studies of Resisting and Challenging Fundamentalisms

Publication Date: 
August, 2010
Association for Women in Development

This collection of case studies is a testament to the women and men around the world who have stood up to reject the imposition of norms and values in the name of religion as well as to expose and challenge the privileged position given to religion in public policies. In 2008 AWID launched a call for proposals to document the strategies of women's rights activists confronting religious fundamentalisms. The final 18 case studies presented here are drawn from a wide range of religious and geographical contexts, and cover various fields of activism. We hope that this collection will inspire, inform and encourage discussion and debate. Please visit this page again for updates, as finalized case studies and a brief summary of each case study will be posted on a rolling basis. We will also soon be posting a paper that introduces the trends and themes that are threaded through the various case studies.


  • Christian Fundamentalisms and Women’s Rights in the African Context: Mapping the Terrain by Jessica Horn

  • Rural Feminist Activism and Religious Fundamentalism in Nova Scotia, Canada by Leona English, Lucille Harper and Betsy MacDonald, Antigonish Women's Resource Centre

  • Arab Queer Women and Transgenders Confronting Diverse Religious Fundamentalisms: The Case of Meem in Lebanon by Nadine M., Meem

  • Sexuality, Gender and the Religious Right: Youth Advocacy on LGBT Rights in the United States by Haven Herrin, Soulforce Q
  • Religious Fundamentalisms and Communalism: The Case of Sahiyar by Trupti Shah, Sahiyar (Stree Sanghthan)
  • Religious Fundamentalisms and Student Life: A View from Indonesia by Nathanael G. Sumaktoyo and Yuyun Rindiastuti

  • Associazione Luca Coscioni and the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research: An Italian Experience of Resisting Religious Fundamentalisms by Carmen Sorrentino, Associazione Luca Coscioni (Luca Coscioni Association)

  • Confronting Catholic Fundamentalisms in the Former Soviet Union: The Case of Lithuania by Virginija Aleksejūnė, Margarita Jankauskaitė and Vilana Pilinkaitė-Sotirovič, Lygių galimybių plėtros centras (Centre for Equality Advancement)

  • Challenging the Growing Power of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Public Life: The Case of Women in Black-Serbia by Staša Zajović and Katie Mahuron, Žene u crnom (Women in Black-Serbia)
  • Stones Aimed at Us...: An Overview of the Discourse and Strategies of the Stop Stoning Forever Campaign by Shadi Sadr, Stop Stoning Forever Campaign 

  • An Overview of Fundamentalist Groups in Peru by Jaris Mujica and Mauricio Rivera, PROMSEX Centro de Promoción y Defensa de los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos (Centre for the Promotion and Defense of Sexual and Reproductive Rights)

  • Religious Fundamentalisms and the Therapeutic Abortion Protocol in Arequipa, Peru by Ydalid Rojas Salinas, Foro Regional de Arequipa por los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos (Arequipa Regional Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights)
  • Mass Prosecution for Abortion: Violation of the Reproductive Rights of Women in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil by Carmen Campos, Themis Assessoria Jurídica e Estudos de Genero (Themis Legal Advice and Gender Studies)
  • Religious and Political Fundamentalisms as a Threat to Women's Rights: Challenges in the Legislature in Brazil by Kauara Rodrigues, Juliano Alessander, Natalia Mori and Soraya Fleischer, CFEMEA - Centro Feminista de Estudos e Assessoria (CFEMEA Feminist Centre for Studies and Advisory Services)
  • The Death of Ana Maria Acevedo: Rallying Cry for the Women's Movement by Lucila Puyol and Paula Condrac, with Mirtha Manzur, Multisectorial de Mujeres de Santa Fe (Multisectoral Women's Group of Santa Fe)
  • Challenging Religious Fundamentalisms in Mexico: The Separation of Church and State and Reaffirmation of Women's Sexual and Reproductive Rights by Elizabeth Placido, Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir-México (Catholics for the Right to Decide-Mexico)
  • Challenging Religious Fundamentalisms in Bolivia: The Inclusion of Sexual and Reproductive Rights in the Constitution by Teresa Lanza Monje, Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir-Bolivia (Catholics for the Right to Decide-Bolivia)
    Religious Fundamentalisms in Indigenous Contexts in Chiapas and the Violation of Women's Rights 
    by Guadalupe Elizalde Molina and Martha Guadalupe Figueroa Mier, edited by Luz Maceira Ochoa, COLEM - Colectivo de Mujeres de San Cristóbal de la Casas (Women's Collective of San Cristobal de las Casas)