Date(s) - 28/10/2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Launch of Romina Istratii’s new book Adapting Gender and Development to Local Religious Contexts: A Decolonial Approach to Domestic Violence in Ethiopia. Romina will be joined in discussion by Emma Tomalin, Professor at the University of Leeds, convenor of the DSA Religions and development study group, and series editor for Routledge Research in Religion and Development.

This book provides a critical and decolonial analysis of gender and development theory and practice in religious societies through the presentation of a detailed ethnographic study of conjugal violence in Ethiopia. Responding to recent consensus that gender mainstreaming approaches have failed to produce their intended structural changes, Romina Istratii explains that gender and development analytical and theoretical frameworks are often constructed through western Euro-centric lenses ill-equipped to understand gender-related realities and human behaviour in non-western religious contexts and knowledge systems. Instead, Istratii argues for an approach to gender-sensitive research and practice which is embedded in insiders’ conceptual understandings as a basis to theorise about gender, assess the possible gendered underpinnings of local issues and design appropriate alleviation strategies. Drawing on a detailed study of conjugal abuse realities and attitudes in two villages and the city of Aksum in Northern Ethiopia, she demonstrates how religious knowledge can be engaged in the design and implementation of remedial interventions. This book carefully evidences the importance of integrating religious traditions and spirituality in current discussions of sustainable development in Africa, and speaks to researchers and practitioners of gender, religion, and development in Africa, scholars of non-western Christianities and Ethiopian studies, and domestic violence researchers and practitioners.

Read a preview and the chapter abstracts on the publisher’s page
Full book available is available here

About the author:
Dr. Romina Istratii is Research Associate to the Department of Development Studies and the Centre of World Christianity, SOAS University of London, UK. She previously served as Senior Teaching Fellow in the School of History, Religions and Philosophies, teaching on Religions and Development. Her research lies at the intersection of gender, religious studies and development and applies a decolonial perspective to gender and development practice informed by a decade’s experience in community-based research in sub-Saharan Africa. She has previously written on the ethics of international development, western gender metaphysics and religious knowledge systems, and the discourse of fundamentalism in gender studies. Since 2016, Dr Istratii has been an active member of the Decolonising SOAS Working Group, initiating in 2019 the Decolonising Research Initiative on behalf of the SOAS Research Directorate. She is co-founder of Decolonial Subversions.

Register here for the free event.

Contact: If you have any questions about the event or the Centre of World Christianity and its seminar series, please contact Dr Lars Peter Laamann at [email protected].