Women and Religious Freedom: Synergies and Opportunities

Sharing core norms and values
Posted Aug 11, 2017 | US Commission on International Religious Freedom

While a common misperception persists that women’s rights to Equality and to Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) are clashing rights, this report by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom finds that the two are indivisible. Harmful practices affecting women and girls are not legitimate manifestations of FoRB because the assertion of one human rights claim cannot be used to extinguish other rights. The report suggests that FoRB is neither a right of “religion”, nor a justification of religiously phrased limitations on women’s rights to equality. FoRB can play a role in responding to harmful practices by mobilizing belief-based actors; helping individuals to understand and interpret their religion in harmony with the rights of others; and encouraging individuals to consider whether their religious laws should be imposed on others.



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