Country-level Research Teams

Research teams prepared eleven country case studies. They undertook original research at the conceptual and empirical level on Religion, Politics and Gender Equality in their respective country. Most studies were carried out by national researchers, allowing the research theme to be adapted to the situation on the ground and considered by those most knowledgeable on local conditions.

The research teams are listed according to their respective countries, which are:



  • Virginia Guzman
    Virginia Guzman is the Assistant Director of the Centro de Estudios de la Mujer in Santiago, Chile. She holds academic degrees in Psychology and Social Sciences from the Universidad Catolica de Chile, the Sorbonne University, Paris, France, and from the Universidad Catolica Lima, Peru. Her publications in Spanish and English include “Democratic Governance and Gender: Possible Linkages” (United Nations Publications, 2004).
  • Amalia Mauro
    Amalia Mauro is the Director of the Centro de Estudios de la Mujer, Santiago, Chile. She is a sociologist and has published in Spanish on employment from a gender perspective and on violence against women.
  • Ute Seibert
    Ute Seibert is a feminist protestant theologian, Master in Education Universidad Central Santiago de Chile, Co-founder of Con-spirando, a women’s Collective working on ecofeminism, spirituality, theology and ethics. Member of the UNESCO Chair “Education in Human Rights”, Universidad Academia de Humanismo Cristiano. Facilitator of seminaries and workshops on the topics of feminist theology, religion and sexuality, body work, methodologies for cultural transformation in different Latin American countries. Author of several articles, co-author of “Del Cielo a la Tierra. Una antología de teología feminista”.



  • Zoya Hasan
    Zoya Hasan is Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University and Member of the National Commission for Minorities. She has been a Visiting Professor to Universities in Edinburgh, Paris and Berlin among others. Her interests include state, political parties, social movements, gender and minorities issues in India. She was the Chairperson of the Centre for Political Studies and Director of the Women’s Studies Programme and the Programme for the Study of Discrimination and Exclusion of JNU. She also is an education policy advisor in India and author. Her recent books include “Politics of Inclusion: Caste, Minority and Affirmative Action”; “Unequal Citizens: A Study of Muslim Women In India” (co-authored); and “Transforming India: Social Dynamics of Democracy”.



  • Homa Hoodfar
    Homa Hoodfar is Professor of Anthropology, Concordia University Montreal, Canada. Her research interests are social (including religious) movements, gender and social change, family law, reproductive rights, and militarization and refugee questions. She has carried out field research in Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Montreal. Among her publications are: “The Muslim Veil in North America: issues and debates” with Sajida Alvi and Sheila McDonough. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press; “Between Marriage and the Market: Intimate Politics and Survival in Cairo”. Berkeley: University of California Press; “Development, Change, and Gender in Cairo: A View from the Household” with Diane Singerman. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  • Shadi Sadr
    Shadi Sadr is a lawyer, women's rights activist and journalist. She is an expert on women's legal rights in Iran and founded the website “Women in Iran” to inform about women's rights efforts in the country. As a practising lawyer, she has successfully defended several women activists and journalists who had been sentenced to execution. As a member of the women’s rights group “Women's Field”, she has advocated the eradication of the practice of capital punishment by stoning, particularly of women, by means of the campaign “End Stoning Forever”. She has been subject to severe repression by the Iranian regime. She has received several human rights awards for her outstanding commitment, such as the Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism, or just recently the Lech Waleza Price and the Human Rights Defender Tulip Award for her promotion of human rights in Iran. 



  • Ruth Halperin-Kaddari 
    Ruth Halperin-Kaddari is the Chair of the Ruth and Emanuel Rackman Center for the Advancement of the Status of Women and Professor at the Faculty of Law, Bar-Ilan University, Israel, as well as member of the UN CEDAW Experts Committee. She holds a J.S.D. from Yale Law School, New Haven, USA. Her main research and teaching interests are Family Law, Feminist Jurisprudence, and Bioethics. Among her numerous publications are “Women in Israel: A State of Their Own” (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004) and articles on family law, as well as on religion and multiculturalism in Israel.
  • Yaacov Yadgar
    Yaacov Yadgar teaches at the department of political studies, Bar-Ilan University. His research deals with issues of nationalism, ethnicity, religion and identity among Israeli Jews. His book “Israeli Traditionists: Modernity without secularization” is forthcoming in Hebrew.



  • Maria Consuelo Mejia
    Maria Consuelo Mejia is an Anthropologist with a Masters Degree and Doctoral Studies in Latin American Studies. She is one of the founders of Catholics for the Right to Decide (CDD Mexico). During 2004 she worked for the International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region based in New York as Senior Program Officer for the Safe Abortion Project. Since April 2005 she is back as the Director of CDD Mexico and collaborated with the International Program of Catholics for a Free Choice.
    Maria Consuelo received numerous awards for her remarkable work on the defense of women’s human rights, community leadership and for her individual contribution to Reproductive and Sexual Health: Award from Amnesty International USA in 1998;The medal “Omecíhuatl” from the Women’s Institute of Mexico City, in October 2006; “To the women who opened a way through Politics” from the Women’s Institute and the Minister of Social Development and the Government of Mexico City on November 2007;  ‘Medal of Honor’ from the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere (IPPF/WHR) on July 2008. Maria Consuelo is author and coauthor of a number of publications.
  • Ana Amuchastegui Herrera
    Ana Amuchástegui Herrera is a social psychologist based at the Department of Education and Communicacion in the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco, Mexico City.
    She has conducted extensive qualitative research on subjectivity, sexuality and gender in Mexico, with special emphasis in rights related to reproduction and sexuality. She has published research articles in “Culture, Health and Sexuality”, “Sexualities” and “Reproductive Health Matters”, as well as book chapters such as “‘Because they were born from me’:  negotiating women’s rights in Mexico” along with Adriana Ortiz and Marta Rivas, as part of the International Reproductive Rights Research and Action Group, coordinated by Ros Petchesky.
  • Guadalupe Cruz Cardenas
    Guadalupe Cruz Cardenas is an intern in Sociology from the Faculty of high studies-Acatlan of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. Has a long ecclesiastic trajectory such as: the Movement of Catholic Students and Professionals, regional and national coordinator of the Base Ecclesial Communities (CEB), founder of the Women's Space (CEB), Coordinator of the Church Area at Catholics for the Right to Decide CDD and coordinator of the Ecclesial Observatory, a space for reflection and analysis by civil organizations based on faith. Author of several articles in magazines and church spaces with issues related to sexual and reproductive rights, citizenship, human rights and the Catholic Church.



  • Charmaine Pereira
    Charmaine Pereira is an independent researcher who lives and works in Abuja, Nigeria. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology of Education from The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK. Her research interests include feminism and women’s struggles, the state, civil society and women’s citizenship, and the practice of Muslim laws. She has taught at universities in Britain and Nigeria, and is currently the National Co-ordinator of the Network for Women’s Studies in Nigeria. She recently completed a major study on gender and the Nigerian university system, “Gender in the Making of the Nigerian University System” (James Currey, 2007).
  • Jibrin Ibrahim
    Jibrin Ibrahim is the Director of the Centre for Democracy & Development, a regional research, advocacy and training non-governmental organisation for West Africa. Previously, from 2000 to 2006, he was Nigeria Country Director of Global Rights. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Bordeaux, France. His areas of specialization are democratisation, political economy of poverty reduction, comparative federalism and religious and ethnic identities. He was visiting Professor in Fribourg (Switzerland) and Toronto (CAN) and published among others “Feminism or Mal Feminism? The Lives and Times of Women in Nigeria” (2007).



  • Farida Shaheed
    Farida Shaheed, a sociologist and human rights activist, is Deputy Director of the multi-country research consortium “Women’s Empowerment in Muslim Contexts: gender, poverty and democratisation from the inside” (WEMC) and Director of the Research Centre Shirkat Gah - Women’s Resource Centre (Pakistan). In October 2009, the UN Human Rights Council appointed her as Independent Expert on Cultural Rights. Decades of combining research, policy and hands-on grassroots work on women have led her to focus both her writings and activism on the complex forces at play in the interface of women, culture, identity, and governance/state – especially in Pakistan, South Asia and Muslim contexts. Awards include the Second Annual Award for Women’s Human Rights (1997) and the Prime Minister's Award (1989) for her co-authored book “Two Steps Forward, One Step Back? Women of Pakistan”.



  • Jacqueline Heinen
    Jacqueline Heinen is Professor emeritus of Sociology at the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. She has been director of Cahiers du Genre (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), president of the Conseil national des universités de France and member of the Group of experts in social sciences of the European Commission. Her main research fields are: gender and social policies in Western and Eastern Europe. She has directed a comparative research on gender and local democracy in seven European countries, issuing a “Guide pour l’intégration de l’égalité des sexes dans les politiques locales” (with F. Gaspard, eds), 2004. Her recent publications include “Gendering citizenship in Western Europe. New challenges for citizenship research in a cross-national context collective” (with R. Lister et alii), Policy Press 2007, and “Social Politics - International Studies in Gender, State and Society”, vol 13, nr 2 / 2006.
  • Stephane Portet
    Stephane Portet is a research fellow and lecturer at the Ecoles des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris, France, currently delegated to Warsaw University. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology. His publications, mainly in French, focus on issues of employment, gender relations and social protection in Poland. They include several book chapters, journal articles and research reports, e.g. “Teenage Pregnancy in Poland: Between Laissez-Faire and Religious Backlash” (in Anne Daguerre and Corinne Nativel, Eds.: When Children Become Parents. Welfare States Responses to Teenage Pregnancy, Policy Press, 2006, 203-224).



  • Rada Drezgić
    Rada Drezgić (Ph. D. University of Pittsburgh, USA), is Research Fellow in the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade, Serbia. Her main area of interest is intersection of gender, nation and reproduction in the context of post-socialist transformations. She is currently finishing a book on post-socialist population politics in Serbia.



  • Yeşim Arat
    Yeşim Arat (Yale College, BA 1978, Princeton University, Department of Politics, PhD 1983) is a Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul and presently the Provost of her university. She is the author of “The Patriarchal Paradox: Women Politicians in Turkey and Rethinking Islam and Liberal Democracy: Islamist Women in Turkish Politics” as well as numerous articles on women and Turkish politics. Her book “Violence against women in Turkey”, written with Ayse Gul Altinay, won the 2008 Pen Duygu Asena Award in Turkey.



  • Janet R. Jakobsen
    Janet R. Jakobsen is Director of the Center for Research on Women and a professor of Women's Studies at Barnard College. Beginning in 2009, she is also serving as Dean for Faculty Diversity and Development. She is the author of “Working Alliances and the Politics of Difference: Diversity and Feminist Ethics” and editor (with Elizabeth Castelli) of  “Interventions: Activists and Academics Respond to Violence”. With Ann Pellegrini, she is author of “Love the Sin: Sexual Regulation and the Limits of Religious Tolerance” and editor of the forthcoming “Secularisms”. She has been a fellow at the Udall Center for Public Policy at the University of Arizona, the Center for the Humanities at Wesleyan University and the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at Harvard Divinity School. Before entering the academy, she was a policy analyst, lobbyist, and organizer in Washington, D.C.
  • Elizabeth Bernstein
    Elizabeth Bernstein is Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies and Sociology at Barnard College, Columbia University. Her research and teaching interests lie with gender and sexuality, law and policy, social theory, culture and political economy as well as ethnographic methods. Her publications include “Temporarily Yours: Intimacy, Authenticity, and the Commerce of Sex” (2007), “Sexual Commerce and the Global Flow of Bodies, Desires, and Social Policies” (2008) and “Regulating Sex” (2005). Further, she was co-author of the “Final Report of the San Francisco Task Force on Prostitution” (1996) and holds lectures such as “Strange Bedfellows? Feminism, the Christian Right, and Contemporary U.S. Policies Against the ‘Traffic in Women,” (Columbia University, 2009).