altFem’s vision is to give voice to women who find in their religion not just spiritual solace but also strength, power, and confidence. Mainstream media coverage of women of faith depicts these women as disempowered and brainwashed by dominant men in their faith. Religious women are almost invariably painted as irrational and their devotion to their religion inauthentic. altFem is working to change that perception by providing a platform where religious women of all faiths can speak for themselves rather than be spoken for—and its goal is nothing less than redefining feminism to include and celebrate women of faith.
altFem covers cross-faith conversations and is an umbrella site for altMuslimah and altCatholicah. Over the course of its five-year history, altMuslimah has become the go-to source for compelling commentary on gender and Islam. altCatholicah is similarly growing into a vital space for Catholic female voices negotiating their faith with their lived realities.
Each site has intra- and inter-community elements, with the intra-community discourse aimed at resolving gender issues specific to each faith community, and the inter-community content targeting pervasive misunderstandings about women, religion, and empowerment. The readership for both sites is diverse in terms of ethnicity, nationality, and gender.
altFem seeks to:
1. Give a platform to the previously unheard voices of women of faith. We do this through personal narrative and authentic storytelling powered by social media,
2. Raise awareness about the social challenges facing women of faith seeking respect and social integration, and give these women a space to network and learn from each other. We do this by hosting conferences, discussion groups, and social events,
2. Empower female faith leaders to foster peace and interfaith understanding as well as to drive positive social change. We do this through our cross-faith conversations,
4. Promote a better understanding within society of each particular faith and its teachings and traditions on women, with a focus on how faith has contributed to the empowerment of its female believers. We do this by engaging scholars and religious leaders, and providing a platform for them to interact with our lay readership.