Taking a woman-centered approach, Mixed Blessings analyzes the effect of religious fundamentalism on gender roles in a variety of religions and nations. It explains how some women benefit from fundamentalism, gaining economic power and autonomy, and portrays how others maneuver within its restrictions.
The scope of the book is broad, ranging from Christian groups in North and South America, Islamic groups in the Middle East and China, Jews in Israel, Hindus in India, and Buddhists in Sri Lanka. The detailed descriptions of women's lives illustrate the complexity of the intersection of gender and fundamentalism. The impact of fundamentalism for some women has been beneficial and has lead to greater economic power and autonomy. In other areas women must maneuver within the constraints of fundamentalism to gain power and autonomy.