chapter  8
16 Pages

‘Because I’m Worth It’: Religion and Women’s Changing Lives in the West

WithLinda Woodhead

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the concepts covered in the preceding chapters of this book. The book shows that the things that drive women away from religious identification may be different from those that secularization theorists have traditionally posited. In contrast, if we look at the story for women in the United States what we see that women were always the majority of participants, and become increasing involved in religious organizations. Sarah Bracke's discussion of Muslim women in Kazan, for example, report going beyond the private practices of their grandmothers, to become in their words 'real Muslims' for whom Islam is based in the pursuit of religious knowledge. Sonya Sharma's discussion of the young Canadian women in Protestant churches suggests that some young unmarried women may leave their churches when they become sexually active. Sian Reid finds women in goddess religions constructing their own woman-affirming, alternative religious identities in the context of widespread secularism.