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Sexual Violence, Religion and Women’s Rights in Global Perspective

Issue: Vol 36 No. 2 (2017) Religious Studies and Theology

Journal: Religious Studies and Theology

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Buddhist Studies Islamic Studies Biblical Studies

DOI: 10.1558/rsth.35156


This article cautions against spectacularising the sexual violence that takes place in non-Western places, without proper contextualis¬ation. I suggest that the inertia in local African churches and com¬munities against taking a stronger stand against the perpetrators of sexual violence, should be read against the global backdrop. This larger context contains, inter alia, western economic interests that contribute to destabilise African states, a globally dominant liberal legal order which in its turn also fails to address sexual violence, and African and western patriarchies that collude against women. Thus, if the influential African Christian Churches are to stand up against sexual violence against women, they face not only the likely resist¬ance of church leadership and local patriarchies, but on a higher level also the resistance of international economic and patriarchal powers covertly in cahoots with local male elites.

Author: Louise du Toit

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