Women Against Gods?

How do we understand the practice and history of oppression?

Programme editor
Programme editor
In cooperation with
Maryam Namazie

In 2019 women still haven’t reached equality. In every religion, country and culture women have been oppressed and undermined for centuries. Men have constantly been shaping religion and society, always placing themselves at the centre of it along the way. How can we understand the history and practice of oppression, thereby abling ourselves to change the future?

We dive into the theoretical framework of oppression and the history of the woman’s body. Several women speak out on the psychological and physical consequences of being undermined. They share their stories on how they resisted to achieve a more equal world.

Atoosa Farahmand is a performance artist, dancer and choreographer based in Sweden. In this programme, she will do a dance performance on women breaking out of restrictions.


Atoosa Farahmand is a performance artist, dancer and choreographer based in Sweden. She is currently working at IM (Individual Humanitarian Aid) as an artistic director. She is focusing on creating platforms for newcomers to come together and explore different forms of art.

Gita Saghal is a writer, journalist, film-maker and rights activist. She is currently Founder and Director of Centre for Secular Space. During the 1980s, she worked for a current affairs programme focussed on Afro-Caribbean and Asian issues called “Bandung File” on Channel 4 TV. She made two films about the Rushdie affair.

Ibtissame Betty Lachgar is a clinical psychologist specialized in violence against women and sexual violence. She is leader of MALI (Alternative Movement for Individual Liberties), which is universalist, feminist and secularist. She initiated the first LGBT movement in Morocco in 2012, but has been censored by the majority of organizations in Morocco, even progressive and feminist ones.

Mineke Schipper  is a writer and former Leiden University professor of Intercultural Literary Studies. She has worked with the Writers-in-Prison Committee of International PEN and was Chair of Index on Censorship in the Netherlands. The universality of human rights is central in her non-fiction books.

Rana Ahmad is an activist, Women’s Rights Campaigner and Ex-Muslim Activist. She hopes to help all girls to be free. After she discarded her religion, she had to escape because she was threatened with death by her family and the government in Saudi Arabia.

Maaike Meijer worked as a teacher, literary journalist, lesbian-feminist activist and professor of genderstudies at Utrecht University and Maastricht University . She published a great number of books and articles on Dutch literature and cultural theory, on poetry, songs and on other forms of popular culture, on feminism, gender theory and the ethics of representation. Her biographies on Dutch women-poets (M. Vasalis in 2011 and F. Harmsen van Beek in 2018) received wide acclaim in The Netherlands. She is currently working on a study of shifting cultural representations of masculinity.


Atoosa FarahmandPerformance artist, dancer and choreographer


Gita SaghalWriter, journalist, film-maker and rights activist
Ibtissame Betty LachgarClinical psychologist
Mineke SchipperWriter and former Leiden University professor of Intercultural Literary Studies
Rana AhmadActivist & Women’s Rights Campaigner
Maaike MeijerLesbian-feminist activist and professor of genderstudies