PODCAST: Is Religion a Force for Good?

Women News Network – WNN Interviews

What impact does religion have on our global community? Of special importance, how does it impact women? How does world religion affect public policy in our region? These and other topics are part of this panel, brought to you via host Anushka Asthana, policy editor for The Observer at The Guardian News. The panel comes to you from a diverse religious background to discuss the questions that intrigue us to ask, “Is religion a force for good or…. bad?”

Participants in the discussion include:

AC Grayling is professor of philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Evan Harris is a former MP and Liberal Democrat science spokesman.

Cristina Odone was editor of the Catholic Herald and deputy editor of the New Statesman.

Jon Cruddas is Labour MP for Dagenham. He’s also a Roman Catholic.

Samia Rahman is a freelance journalist living in London and a Muslim.

The Guardian News World – The Observer
Guardian Focus Podcast

Producer: Phil Maynard

Host: Anushka Asthana

Date: 21 November, 2010

Length: 54:17 min



Religion, spirituality and belief play a central role in the lives of millions of women and men, in the way they live and in the aspirations they have for the future. The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion is inalienable and must be universally enjoyed. This right includes the freedom to have or to adopt the religion or belief of their choice either individually or in community with others, in public or in private, and to manifest their religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching. In order to
realize equality, development and peace, there is a need to respect these rights and freedoms fully. Religion, thought, conscience and belief may, and can, contribute to fulfilling women’s and men’s moral, ethical and spiritual needs and to realizing their full potential in society. However, it is acknowledged that any form of extremism may have a negative impact on women and can lead to violence and discrimination.

©2011 Women News Network – WNN
Re-issue of this material granted only by permissions of WNN & The Guardian News World.