Women and Faith, Who is the oppressor? Religion or Men?


Women and Faith: who is the oppressor? Religion or Men?

At the beginning of National Interfaith week and the week when the Church of England voted on legislation to allow women bishops, Woking People of Faith gathered to consider the subject of Women in Faith. The deliberately provocative title ‘Who is the oppressor, Religion or Men?’ was explored by three excellent speakers from three different faith perspectives. Mrs Lisa Levine, a solicitor and member of the North West Surrey Synagogue, offered perspectives on women in the Jewish faith. Mrs Hilary Cotton, consultant and vice chair of the national organisation Women and The Church, explored historical developments which have influenced attitudes to women in the Christian faith. Mrs Kauser Akhtar, advisor to Surrey Faith Links, articulated the differences between culture and Islam – and invited her audience to experience wearing a head covering for an hour.   Sixty people from different faith groups (and none) participated in the presentations, question time and lively discussion which continued over delicious tea and cake.  An excellent children’s entertainer looked after the children while adults listened to the speakers.  Woking People of Faith works to build friendships between people of different faiths and cultures in order to facilitate understanding and challenge barriers which arise from assumptions and misinformation.   Those who attended commented that ‘ This was a wonderful, stimulating session which I hope will impact on women’s roles in the future – I learned a great deal.’ and ‘It was thought-provoking and good to see/hear different responses across these three major faiths – an opportunity to contrast and compare which left plenty to think about and discuss with others. Please organise more events like these!’

Chairperson, Somia Shafiq wrote ‘This was a fantastic event. I really enjoyed the talks, everyone was engaged in the discussion and I know that the children’s entertainer was a hit because my friend who could not stay right until the end struggled to convince her daughter to leave. Well done all.’ 

The event was held on Sunday 17th November 2013 at the Parkview Community Centre, Sheerwater, and was attended by 60 adults from at least 6 different faith groups, and some who do not profess faith. 

Woking People of Faith is grateful to Surrey County Council Community Partnerships Team for a grant which made this event possible. 





All information on this site © Woking People of Faith unless otherwise credited.