From Adam and Eve to modern arguments over what women wear, the position of women within religions has been specified by a male dominated hierarchy for centuries.

In the 21st century, how do women find their role in faith, whilst navigating rigorously challenging ancient dogmatic principles?

Join Asma Barlas, author of Believing Women in Islam, Rabbi Sylivia Rothschild and Rt Rev. Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani as they examine how patriarchal readings of religion, both historic and contemporary, strengthen and nurture patriarchal values and discuss the role women can play in re-defining these paradigms from within these faith traditions.

About The Speakers

Asma Barlas

Asma Barlas writes on Qur’anic hermeneutics and Muslim women’s rights; and is the author of ‘Believing Women in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur’an’ (University of Texas Press) Professor of Politics at Ithaca College, NY, she has a Ph.D. in International Studies and a B.A. in English Literature and Philosophy.

Sylvia Rothschild

Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild grew up in Bradford and is a member of Bradford Synagogue. Ordained in 1987 -only the 8th woman in Europe to become rabbi, she spent thirty years ministering in two South London Synagogues, and now cares for a community in Milan. She specialises in liturgy, loves rabbinic texts, and blogs at

Rt Rev. Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani

Rt Rev. Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani was born in Iran in 1966. She moved to England following the events of the 1979 Islamic Revolution and has, to date, been unable to return to Iran. A Nottingham University music graduate, Guli worked at BBC radio before completing a PhD in Religious Studies from Bristol University. She was ordained in 1998 and has served as Bishop of Loughborough since 2017.