One response to the phenomenon of globalisation in politics, economics and culture has been a resurgence of fundamentalist movements. To fundamentalists, women symbolise ethnic and cultural purity, and their rights and status have become an enormous issue. But the links between fundamentalisms, tradition and modernity are very complex. In this article I look at the example of Senegal, where traditional spiritual beliefs are mingled with the newer world religions, in very complex ways. Consequently, it is difficult to understand the connections between fundamentalism, globalisation and women’s human rights. But this understanding is critical if women are to obtain and retain equal rights with men. This article is taken from a presentation given at a workshop entitled ‘Fundamentalisms, globalisation and women’s human rights’, at the AWID Forum.
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