Feminist Theology in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Trauma healing of Wartime Rape Women

Experienced researcher and professor of gender studies and religious studies with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Intercultural Communication, Sociology of Gender, Research Design, and Program Evaluation. Strong research professional with an Executive Leadership Certificate focused in Organizational Leadership from Cornell University.

This paper discusses the emergence of Islamic feminist theology in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) during the Bosnian War (1992-1995). It focuses on how Muslim women used religion to help wartime rape survivors cope with trauma.

Before the War:

  • BiH has a complex religious makeup with Muslims, Orthodox Christians, and Catholics.During the socialist era (1945-1990), Islam was private and gender roles were more flexible.Feminist theology, advocating for gender equality in religion, didn’t exist.
  • War and Response:
  • Thousands of Muslim women were raped during the war.The author, a Muslim scholar, joined Medica Zenica, an NGO supporting survivors.They realized the need for spiritual healing alongside social support.Traditional Islamic teachings didn’t address wartime rape or women’s needs.
  • Emergence of Feminist Theology:
  • The author and colleagues, though untrained in feminist theology, used contextual interpretations of Islam.They focused on messages of mercy, forgiveness, and God’s love for all.This approach empowered women and eased their suffering.
  • Post-War Developments:
  • The Islamic community offered limited support, but one fatwa (religious decree) acknowledged the women’s heroism.Feminist theology continues in secular women’s organizations.It offers alternative interpretations to traditional, patriarchal views.
  • Conclusion:
  • This case shows how feminist theology can help with trauma healing.Religion, delivered with care and compassion, can be a source of comfort.Women’s voices are crucial in creating a more just and inclusive world.
  • BACA JUGA:   Press Release
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