Contributors are invited to write on the topic above from either a research or an activism perspective. Abstracts and contributions must be written in English and in a style accessible to a wide audience.  Please submit abstracts to or

 No later than 30th May 2016

Guest Editors  :    Elaine Salo and Fatima Seedat 

Conceptual Rationale:

The gendered effects of the intersections of religious extremism and sexual difference have had differing outcomes for women and queer communities compared to men. In the contemporary African context, the intersections have produced a number of instances where women have been used instrumentally in military conflicts that are expressed in terms of religious difference. The military effects of fundamentalist Christian Seleka rebels in the Central African Republic have led to widespread religion-specific rape, murder and torture of Muslim women. The Lord’s Resistance Army has kidnapped thousands of girls systematically transforming them into child soldiers and child wives. Similarly, al-Shabaab militias in Somalia and Kenya also kidnap women to work as wives and slaves. More recently, girls have been kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria and forced to participate in civil violence as suicide bombers.  El-Shabaab attacks have also led to wide scale population displacement and affected women’s household activities that secure family members survival.

Even in contexts of peacetime, lesbian, queer and other women experience religiously-based forms of homophobia and gender discrimination. Women in same-sex relationships are routinely discriminated against through cultural and religious norms that privilege heterosexual forms of community. Religious injunctions regarding marriage and divorce frequently condemn many women to long-term domestic violence, and severe curtailment of reproductive rights. Women’s pious practices, however, suggest strong allegiances to religious and cultural systems and they as well as lesbian, and other queer people remain committed members of faith communities.

In this edition of Agenda we want to explore the intersections of religion, in its normative and extremist forms, and feminist understandings of security and gendered agency expressed through pious practices and beliefs. We want to explore the gendered meanings of piety and religious identity for lesbians, queer and other women; we ask whether and how religious affiliation can advance or inhibit women’s security and how these intersections inform feminist struggles for gender justice; how do religious and customary laws interpret women’s rights and sexuality; whether and how faith traditions and religious identities determine women’s claims to their rights as gendered persons, members of faith communities and as citizens. What interventions do feminists make or imagine in understanding women’s security and women’s pietistic agency in the broader religious arena to promote women’s and gendered rights? We invite papers that explore any of these themes for this issue.

Contributions are accepted in any form, prose (both theoretical and practical), poetry, narrative, interviews, and visual arts.


Agenda invites contributions from feminist and gender scholars, activists, researchers, policy makers, professionals, educators, community workers, students and members of women’s organizations and organizations interested in and concerned with gender issues.

Submissions should contribute to developing new thinking and fresh debate on women’s rights and gender equality in Africa and other developing countries.

Writers need to:

  • Write in an accessible and understandable style;
  • Inform, educate or raise debate;
  • Try to pin down reasons for contradictions and point out differences of opinion;
  • Provide an analysis and an argument;
  • Be logical;
  • Be sensitive to but not uncritical of how gender, class and race affect the reporting of an event;
  • Ensure the introduction encapsulates the contents of the piece and that it attracts the reader’s attention by either making a controversial statement, providing a thought-provoking or new insight into the subject;
  • Utilize a gender or feminist lens.

We publish articles in various formats, which range from 6,000 words for more theorized articles, which form the main reference pieces in an issue, to shorter pieces with a minimum of 1,500 words.

Formats of Contributions

    • Article (6 000 words max) should be based on new research and contain analysis and argument.
    • Briefing is an adaptable format for writers to write on a wide range of subjects (2 500 – 4 000 words)
    • Focus examines an aspect of a chosen theme in detail (4 500 words max)
    • Profile looks in detail at an organisation, project or legislation, or a person (2 500 – 3 500 words)
    • Report-back covers reports on meetings, conferences workshops etc
    • (1 500 – 4 000 words)
    • Review typically reviews books or films (1 500 – 3 000 words)
    • Interview can record a conversation among a group of people or a one-on-one interview in which the writer asks the interviewee/s questions on a subject (1 500 – 3 000 words)
    • Open Forum is a vehicle for debate and argument, or pieces which deal with argument and difference of opinion on a subject/issue (2 500 – 4 000 words)
    • Perspective is an adaptable format in which writers are able to use a more personal reflective, narrative style (1 500 – 3 000 words)

Contributions should be submitted in the following format:

File type:           Microsoft Word

Font:                   Arial

Size:                    10 pt

Line spacing:    single

Justification:    left

Referencing:    Harvard style

All submissions should have the following:

Abstract:           200 – 300 words

Keywords:        approx 5 keywords

Bio:                     100 – word author biography, including email address

Bio picture:      head-and-shoulders photo in 300 dpi jpeg format

Contributors are encouraged to provide photos and/or graphics to illustrate their submission

Selection and Editing Process

All submissions are peer reviewed. Articles, briefing and focus pieces go through a double blind peer review process, while all other contributions are reviewed by at least one member of Agenda’s Editorial Advisory Group.

Reviewers comment on the suitability of a text for publication in the Agenda journal, as well as provide comments to help develop the piece further for publication if required. Contributors will be asked to rework the paper accordingly.

On resubmission, the piece will be assessed by the Agenda editor and a final decision made regarding its publication in the journal.

Please note that Agenda reserves the right to edit contributions with regard to length and accessibility or reject contributions that are not suitable or of poor standard.

Agenda also invites the submission of poems on the topic of women’s rights and gender.

Please note, as per Agenda’s policy, writers who have published in the journal within the last two years WILL NOT BE ALLOWED to publish – to allow new writers to publish in Agenda.

To help Agenda comply with the new DHET policy on academic publications, kindly state your institutional/organisational affiliation with your abstract/article. 

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