In many cultures, women are property, chattel with no right or worth. Dowry must be paid to get rid of them. They only bring shame and dishonor – unless they do the only thing of validity for a woman and bear sons. Less valuable than animals if not suitably breeding, they can be raped, tortured and murdered with impunity – even have that cruelty celebrated if it provides ‘honor’ restoration to her family, for a deed that may not even be related to her. Her childhood is brief and dangerous, as she only has value as potential marriage bargaining. She has no choices, no worth.
We are sending soldiers over to Afghanistan and places like that but only to support regimes that still allow this, as the Taliban, goodness help us, are worse! It is an abiding horror and shame, and while men claim that this is the way of Islam (this is actually hotly disputed by more evolved Muslims), then the reputation of Islam as a brutal and backward religion is sadly but deservedly reinforced. Fundamentalist Christians and Catholics have no reason to point the finger, one must add – the brutality is less on the surface, but the woman is always the ‘slut’, to be blamed for needing contraception or pregnancy or rope support – she is always seen to be deserving of it. In domestic violence, she is often treated as a harridan shrew who earned it somehow.
No, religions have, as a whole across the spectrum, treated women abysmally – and are in a position to do the most to change it. While woman are less in the eyes of their religions, devout societies will also treat them that way. This can range from the brutality of such Stone Age treatment of women as chattel, to diminishing their roles in daily religious observance to less than that of men.