Women in Secularism 4

A Center for Inquiry Conference - Women in Secularism 4 - September 23-25, 2016

Register now for Women in Secularism 4, September 23–25, 2016 in Arlington, VA, just outside of DC.

Now Closed

What does it mean to be “Women in Secularism?”

Women are increasingly living religion-free lives and embodying the values of humanism and skepticism in their activism and professional work.

"Secularism" also refers to the secular movement, which fights against religious oppression and advocates for women's rights around the world, and where women's voices and leadership are at the forefront of a broader, more inclusive movement.

This fourth Women in Secularism conference brings together a diverse lineup of speakers to address what it means to be a “woman in secularism”—not just in theory, but in practice. Speakers will address not only the progress that has been made, but also the many challenges that still lie ahead.

How can we fight back against the intrusion of religious dogma on women's lives, from anti-abortion legislation to the violent threats against religious dissidents? What is the role of "safe spaces" in a movement that highly values free expression? What can we learn from other social movements to more effectively advance the cause of secularism?

Be a part of this important conversation.

Join us September 23–25, 2016 in Arlington, VA, just outside of Washington, DC. Women in Secularism 4 is proudly presented by the Center for Inquiry.

Past Conferences

Find out more about the speakers and presentations at past Women in Secularism conferences by visiting previous conference websites:

Latest Updates



Registration opens at 11:00am.

1:00pm – 1:15pm
Opening Remarks

1:15pm – 2:00pm
Melanie Brewster
Why There Are Fewer Atheist Women (And Other Fun Gender-Based Speculation from Folks in Ivory Towers)

2:00pm – 2:45pm
Ashley F. Miller
Class and the Secular Movement: Why Class Matters

2:45pm – 3:00pm

3:00pm – 3:45pm
Linda LaScola
When Women Are "Caught in the Pulpit"

3:45pm – 4:30pm
Maryam Namazie
Women’s Resistance to Islamism in the Age of ISIS

4:30pm – 5:00pm

5:00pm – 6:30pm
Women in Secular Leadership
Moderator: Debbie Goddard, Panel: Robyn Blumner, Sarah Haider, Annie Laurie Gaylor, Rebecca Hale, Hypatia Alexandria

6:30pm – 7:30pm

7:30pm – 9:30pm

9:00am – 10:30am
Women and Science
Moderator: Yvette d'Entremont, Panel: Emily Willingham, Kavin Senapathy, Janet Stemwedel, Kaberi Kar Gupta

10:30am – 10:50am

10:50am – 11:35am
Gulalai Ismail
Women Countering Violent Extremism and Building Peace

11:35am – 12:00pm
Annie Laurie Gaylor
From Feminist to Freethought Founder: The Legacy of Anne Nicol Gaylor

12:00pm – 1:45pm
Lunch (on your own)

1:45pm – 2:30pm
Wendy Kaminer
Secular Feminism, Liberty, and Social Justice

2:30pm – 2:50pm

2:50pm – 3:35pm
On What Matters: Rebecca Goldstein and Ashley F. Miller in Conversation

3:35pm – 4:20pm
Soraya Chemaly

4:20pm – 4:50pm

4:50pm – 6:20pm
Free Expression and Safe Spaces: How do we balance free expression with other concerns?
Moderator: Ashley F. Miller, Panel: Maryam Namazie, Melanie Brewster, Diane Burkholder, Sarah Haider

6:20pm – 7:30pm

7:30pm – 9:30pm
with special guest Shelley Segal, accompanied by Andrew Robertson

9:00am – 10:30pm
Secular Women in Other Movements
Panel: Kaberi Kar Gupta, Kayley Whalen, Diane Burkholder, Hypatia Alexander

10:30am – 10:45am

10:45am – 11:30am
Katha Pollitt in Conversation with Annie Laurie Gaylor

11:30am – 12:15pm
Bonya Ahmed

12:15pm – 12:30pm
Closing Remarks

Become a secular celebrant!


Hyatt Regency Crystal City
2799 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22202

The conference rate is no longer available, but rooms can be booked through the hotel directly.

Reserve your room ›

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The Center for Inquiry values full participation at all of its events, including participation from individuals with disabilities. Requests for reasonable accommodation may be made by contacting Barry Karr at (716) 636-4869 ext. 217 or bkarr@centerforinquiry.net.

Past Conferences

Watch full talks from previous Women in Secularism conferences.

Women in Secularism 3 (2014) ›
Women in Secularism (2012) & Women in Secularism 2 (2013) ›

Read more about previous Women in Secularism conferences at their websites:

Women in Secularism 3 (2014) ›
Women in Secularism 2 (2013) ›
Women in Secularism (2012) ›