The Woman Question in Western-occidental and Eastern-oriental Religious Traditions

Original Research

The Woman Question in Western-occidental and Eastern-oriental Religious Traditions

Lucy Happiness Ohanuma

Nsukka Journal of Religion and Cultural Studies | Vol. 11, No 1 | © 2023 Lucy Happiness Ohanuma

| This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0

Submitted: 27 February 2023 | Published: 28 July 2023


About the author(s)

Lucy Happiness Ohanuma is a Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy Dominican University, Ibadan, Nigeria.

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This paper explores the “woman question” in Western-Occidental and Eastern-Oriental religious traditions, analysing the roles and status of women within these diverse religious contexts. By conducting a comparative study, the paper aims to identify the similarities, differences, and underlying factors that have shaped the treatment of women in these traditions. The study begins by providing a historical and cultural overview of the contexts in which these religious traditions emerged. Through a comprehensive literature review, a gap in the existing scholarship becomes apparent, specifically regarding a thorough comparative analysis of the treatment of women in both Western-Occidental and Eastern-Oriental religious traditions. Consequently, this paper seeks to address this gap by offering a nuanced understanding of the roles and status of women in these religious contexts. The findings indicate that while there are some shared characteristics in the treatment of women, there are also significant variations between Western-Occidental and Eastern-Oriental traditions. Western-Occidental religious traditions often exhibit patriarchal and hierarchical structures, while Eastern-Oriental traditions demonstrate more diverse attitudes towards women, ranging from elevating them to positions of spiritual leadership to marginalising their roles. In conclusion, this paper highlights the relevance of these findings for contemporary discussions on gender equality and women’s rights. It emphasises the importance of engaging with religious traditions critically and constructively, considering the diverse perspectives they offer. Furthermore, the paper calls for further research in this area, particularly through comparative studies of religious traditions and their treatment of women, to deepen our understanding and promote greater inclusivity and gender justice in religious contexts.


Women, Western-Occidental, Eastern-Oriental, religion, tradition