Step 2 Part 1 Fact Sheet 1: religion

Gender in religion

Religions historically played a key part in defining gender roles. Europe’s most important religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - are believed to have been founded by men. These religions all have rules and commands related to gender:

  • Segregation of men and women in the synagogue and mosque
  • Separate catholic congregations for men and women
  • Leaders such as rabbis, priests and imams must be men
  • Dress codes, mainly for women
  • Different duties for husbands (leader, protector and supporter of the family) and wives (follower, mother, helper, keeper of the house)
  • Duty to have children for both wife and husband. Therefore, homosexuality is strictly forbidden.