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Women and Religious Freedom: Synergies and Opportunities

Click here to view the report: Women and Religious Freedom: Synergies and Opportunities

While a common misperception persists that women’s rights to equality and freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) are clashing rights, the two are actually indivisible and interrelated, a new USCIRF report finds. FoRB is neither a right of “religion” as such, nor an instrument for support of religiously phrased limitations on women’s rights to equality. Harmful practices affecting women and girls cannot be accepted as legitimate manifestations of FoRB because the assertion of one human rights claim cannot be used to extinguish other rights. FoRB can play a role in responding to harmful practices by: mobilizing belief-based actors; supporting individuals to understand and interpret their religion in harmony with the rights of others; and encouraging everyone to consider whether their religious laws should be imposed on others.