Sikivu Hutchinson Featured in Salon, by Soraya Chemaly

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hitchens_hutchinson_dawkinsBy Soraya Chemaly

In a Salon piece last week called, “Where are the women of new atheism?”, Katie Englehardt described what looks like diminishing participation of women in atheist life. She also encouraged atheist women to more openly embrace their beliefs. But atheist women are very active. These women aren’t visible — and there aren’t more like them — for at least five reasons.


First, women are more devout because they have to be. Women’s religiosity is directly related to economic security. The lack of a social safety net means that women, who are still responsible for the bulk of elder and child care, often need to rely on religious organizations to support themselves and their families. The Catholic Church alone has more than 2,500 local organizations that provide critical safety net services for more than 10 million people annually. The network of friends that develop around churches, mosques and temples likewise become essential partners in caring for families. Those communities are necessarily deeply enmeshed in the daily cadence of life. There are, as Sikivu Hutchinson explains in her book on this subject, Moral Combat, necessary connections between gender, religiosity and social justice…

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