It is not religion that is oppressive to women, it is the interpretation of religious texts that oppresses women. Over centuries, religious texts have shaped culture, and it is the misinterpretation of these texts that have given power to patriarchy leading to the oppression of women. Institutions accept and continue this trend, and this is why it is significant for women to take leading roles in these institutions to educate and challenge these ideas.
In the Bible, there are many references to love, tolerance, and respect, and these are gender-neutral. Some argue that religious texts seek to empower women, but have been misinterpreted. For example, there is a verse in the Esephians that asks man and woman submit to each other, this has been misinterpreted to benefit one sex. Islam is often perceived as oppressing women, however in Islam, argues Sheikh Yusuf Mugisha, empowering women is one of the basics of the faith. Women are the pillars of the family, and their economic and social development is key. The reference to protecting women is the only constraint, aimed at ensuring the safety of women when they travel alone and far, it does not mean that they should be forbidden from working or studying.
The participation of women in religion will allow these misgivings to be changed, as religion is not oppressive, it is read and constructed in that way institutionally.