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Sept. 22, 2022

Addressing the religion-violence nexus through a new treaty on violence against women


Join us and Every Woman Treaty on Thursday, September 22, at 11 a.m. ET US (UTC -4) to participate in a discussion about the violence against women and religion nexus, and the complexities inherent to addressing this form of violence. Speakers will outline how a new global treaty specific to violence against women and girls would curb this pervasive human rights violation.

Guests include:

Najet Zammouri (Tunisia), Vice President, Tunisian Human Rights League

Betty Sharon (Kenya), Executive Director, Collaboration of Women in Development

Meera Khanna (India), Executive Vice President, Guild for Service

Najla Ayoubi (Afghanistan), Chief of Coalition and Global Programs, Every Woman Treaty

Karin Ryan (United States), The Carter Center, Moderator

Religion is both a personal and institutional construct that plays a significant role in the lives of people all over the world. While, on the one hand, religion has and can serve as an enabling environment for targeting women and girls with violence, faith-based interventions can also go a long way to support women in addressing experiences of victimization. Paragraph 7 of General Recommendation 35 to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) acknowledges how an erosion of the legal and policy frameworks that strive to eliminate violence against women, which is often justified in the name of tradition, culture, religion or fundamentalist ideology, weakens State responses. While comprehensive statistics capturing the religion-violence nexus are still lacking, there is documented evidence of women being targeted with sexual violence purely because of their religious, ethnic, and faith-based affiliations in conflict zones.

This Roundtable is set to be a powerful exposition of the tension of the opposites - where religion has proven to provide an enabling environment for violence against women and is also equally known to offer room for survivors to address experiences of victimization. Experts working in the field will deliberate on how religion operates as an enabler of violence, can serve as a potential catalyst for change, and ultimately, how a treaty to end violence against women can address the religion-violence nexus.

Coordinated by Joshua Griffin, MDP

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