Religion and Feminism
- The article covers a research gap by investigating the role of religion in the lives of Christian and Muslim women. It tries to explain how religion shapes views on feminism, gender roles, and women’s issues. The research identified a particular sample of Protestant Christian and Muslim women who gave their opinions on the role their religious affiliations play in their lives. Findings specified a complex relationship between religion and feminism with the majority of Muslim women stating that their religion supports feminist principles. Christian women are less prone to approving feminism, and the implications of these findings for society are discussed.
- The research does not mention getting Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Human Subjects review. “The IRB is a body that primarily set up to monitor and approve behavioral research that involve humans” (Amdur, 2011, p. 1). Since the IRB are not included in this research, participants are more prone to negative psychological impact and infringement of privacy rights. They benefit monetarily by receiving the incentive and taking part in the research at the convenience of their homes.
- Participants were recruited through networks, advertising in local places of worship, and via special interest groups. Compensation of $20 for participation was given as a motive for these individuals to participate. Fourteen women between the ages of 25 to 43 were chosen for the interview. They focused on 7 Protestant Christian women and 7 Muslim women who lived in the Midwest region. When selecting the participants, much emphasis was placed on their age, religious affiliation, educational background, and residence in the US for the past five years. Another consideration used was marriage status and ethnicity. The sampling strategy was entirely purposeful as it focused on religious women of diverse backgrounds who could participate effectively in the research.
- The research design used in the qualitative research is known as Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR) methodology. It is used because it consider consistent with feminist principles of agreement building and shared powers. “It involved the use of open-ended questions, several judges in data analysis, consensus edifice, checking of data analysis, and key domains in data analysis” (Saba Rasheed Ali, 2008, p. 39). It can also be referred to as intensive interviewing.
- The data was collected through interviews where participants were involved in face to face sessions. A pilot interview was conducted firstly to come up with a suitable interview protocol that could be implemented to meet the objectives of the research. At the implementation stage, primary team members interviewed at least one participant. “The interviews lasted 45 to 90 minutes where participants were given explanations first in the study then they filled out consents and demographic forms” (Saba Rasheed Ali, 2008, p. 39). After that, they answered specific questions about feminism and religious affiliations.
- The CQR approach was used in data analysis where the primary research team served as judges who read, discussed, and arrived at a consensus on the meaning of data that had been collected. The data was categorized into domains for each case. “The primary domains identified in this research are gender roles, religion, feminism, culture, and women’s issues. The judges then coded core ideas and engaged in a cross-analysis, which was subject to review by the auditor” (Saba Rasheed Ali, 2008, p. 40). At this stage, the team argued and arrived at a consensus on the conclusions of the research.
- There are several limitations in this study. First of all the entire sample selected was small, and it was only limited to women identified as either dependable Muslims or Christians. “Other factors like education level, social class, geographical location, and age must have influenced the responses thereby not necessarily representing all religious views” (Saba Rasheed Ali, 2008, p. 45). “There is a general lack of data triangulation on the interview process and other acculturation factors that have not been assessed like cultural identity, language preference, and group identification” (Saba Rasheed Ali, 2008, p. 46).
Amdur, R. J. (2011). Institutional Review Board: Member Handbook. Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Saba Rasheed Ali, A. M. (2008). A Qualitative Investigation of Muslim and Christian Women’s Views of Religion and Feminism in Their Lives. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 38-46.