Due to the reciprocal link between culture and religion religious structures

Due to the reciprocal link between culture and

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Due to the reciprocal link between culture and religion, religious structures are bound to a circle of shared influence with patterns of social organization and societal norms. According to a study carried out by Hopkins (2009), the author argues that almost all religions around the world uphold male social dominance within the structures of the society. Although females are more likely to take part in religion, the do not enjoy similar status as men. Empirical studies on the progression of certain religions, particularly in the context of Islam, outline adverse shifts in societies toward declining statuses of females with the rise of ‘advanced faiths’. What is more, religious prejudices and ideals are reflection of patriarchal ideals, which are typical of all communities of global faiths. For instance, a male, always takes the character of God, or the creator in all religions, while a woman is mostly depicted as a mom, particularly as the mom to a son (King, 2017). Her station is in the home, less so at spiritual positions. However, the actual status of women in religions is more complex because in certain faiths, females have equal or more power compared to men. In Christianity, for instance, God is viewed as a male while in Islam, Allah does not have a natural gender. It is evident that deities have always been gendered. Klingorova & Havlíček (2015) argue that goddesses in ancient religious have been reinterpreted to follow specific gender roles. For example, Freya, the Nordic goddess first of love and war, was reimaged several centuries later as the representation of sexual behavior and love. Another gendered example is the goddess Aphrodite, who is the exemplification of women –
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GENDER 4 beautiful, vain, and simple. On the contrary, Kali, a Hindu goddess, breaks gender roles by symbolizing life and war. In the history of religion, the voices of women are stifled, because of the patriarchal natures of communities where religions arose. All global religions consent on respecting women and valuing their roles in family life, particularly emphasizing women as wives and mothers. However, women in these religions do not enjoy similar status or standing when contrasted with men (Kong, 2010). For example, in Abrahamic religions, important male figures (Abraham, Jesus, Moses, Paul, and David) are highly acclaimed in the Hebrew Bible with only a mention of few females. Similarly, the founder of Islam, Muhammad, is a male as well as his disciples and successors. Of the few women mentioned in these religions, most are not associated with teaching or leadership, but they remain important figures. Contrasted to Christianity and Islam, there are religious sects that hold women and men in equal platforms (Sturm, 2013). Bahá'í Faith, is an example of such faith, which celebrates women and allows them to serve in various leadership positions; however, women are prohibited from joining the Universal House of Justice, its highest governing body.
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