International Feminist Scholars Explore Abrahamic Traditions Patriarchy & Sustainability from an Interdisciplinary Perspective

International Feminist Scholars Explore Abrahamic Traditions Patriarchy & Sustainability from an Interdisciplinary Perspective

International Feminist Scholars Explore Abrahamic Traditions Patriarchy & Sustainability from an Interdisciplinary Perspective

Is nature, the environment, sustainability, and ecology feminist issues?

What is the link between different structures of patriarchy and the damage being done to planet earth?

What solutions can activists working within the different Abrahamic religious and secular traditions bring from a feminist perspective to the pressing environmental and sustainability questions of our time?

The Abrahamic Traditions, Patriarchy & Sustainability workshop, held virtually earlier this spring brought together an interdisciplinary group of international, multi-religious women faculty and scholars with diverse perspectives and worldviews to explore these questions and how the Abrahamic traditions impact human interaction with the environment, and the relationships between gender roles, patriarchal social and political arrangements and sustainability.

This idea began as a conversation at the Abrahamic Traditions & Environmental Change workshop in Rhodes, Greece in 2019. With the support of Dr. Daniel Weiner, vice president of Global Affairs, University of Connecticut, these conversations continued with Nawal Ammar, dean of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Rowan University, and Hind Ahmed Zaki, assistant professor of Political Science, University of Connecticut and evolved into an interdisciplinary workshop with a focus on women, gender, patriarchal societies, ecofeminism and the environment.

The aim of the Abrahamic Traditions, Patriarchy & Sustainability was to engage in cross-disciplinary discussions on the intersection of women’s rights, ecofeminism and how the monotheistic faiths initiated in the Middle East, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam significantly shape cultural traditions, beliefs and perceptions.  More importantly is how a pro-womanist/feminist perspective can contribute and translate those traditions into positive social and ecological action to heal our mother earth.

This collaborative workshop with a global worldview was co-organized by University of Connecticut Abrahamic Program for Academic Collaboration in the MENA Region, Nawal Ammar, Dean of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences at Rowan University, and Hind Ahmed Zaki, Assistant Professor within the Department of Political Science and Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Connecticut.

Faculty and scholars from around the world were invited to address themes broadly related to how women movements within various Abrahamic traditions and institutions contribute new pathways for environmental sustainability, equity, and ecological balance through imagining new ways of organizing the family, work, society, and life on earth.

In a recently released video, below, an international group of scholars share their perspectives on the influences of the patriarchal Abrahamic traditions and the interrelationship between feminism and nature.

“We know the oppression of the environment is also the oppression of women and human rights, whether it’s men or women,” said Nawal Ammar. “Islam is actually environmentally affirming. It has a unique perspective and it’s a relational view with the environment.”

While eco-feminism has been a framework since Françoise d’Eaubonne coined the terms in 1974, its use has been limited within the full spectrum of the Abrahamic religions and more particularly the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region.  

“What does this correlation between gender and the environment mean? Are we promoting better involvement of women in the strategy to combat climate change,” asked Yousra Abourabi, assistant professor, Universite Internationale de Rabat, Morocco. “Is it understood that an environmentalist approach to public policies can only be conducted if there are also feminist?”

“We know through our scholarship and through our research there is actually a very exciting research agenda emerging when it comes to issues of patriarchy, eco-feminism, and women’s rights within the Abrahamic Traditions and within the larger Middle East,” said Hind Ahmed Zaki, University of Connecticut.

To learn more about the Abrahamic Tradition Patriarchy & Sustainability workshop and the Abrahamic Programs for Academic Collaboration in the MENA Region visit