Delegation of the European Union to the
UN and other international organisations in Geneva

EVENT: HRC 43 - Common Ground: Safeguarding Freedom of Religion or Belief and Gender Equality

25/02/2020 - 16:48

The past decade has witnessed continuous challenges in advancing gender equality, protecting and fulfilling women's rights and ending discrimination on any ground, including on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. Often, in the name of religion or belief, women and LGBTI persons experience violations of their rights. In some countries, the constitutional framework that provides for a state religion creates tension with and may even obstruct the advancement of gender equality. Also, individuals who speak out against majoritarian approaches that favour narrow interpretations of religion in opposition to human rights can face censorship and even violence.

Based on the latest report of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, this event will provide an opportunity to raise attention on the wide range of human rights violations committed against individuals on the basis of their sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in the name of religion or belief. Panellists will also discuss ways to address this intersectional discrimination.

Welcome remarks:

Ambassador Walter Stevens, Head of EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva

Panel discussion:

Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief 

Ambassador Socorro Flores Liera, Permanent Representative of Mexico 

Reverend Brent Hawkes, Founder and Executive Director, Rainbow Faith and Freedom

Mona Rishmawi, Chief of Rule of Law, Equality & Non-Discrimination Branch, OHCHR

Imam Bukuru Elie Khalfan, Head Manager of the #ImamsForShe campaign in the Great Lake region 

Patricia Melendez, Head of Civic Space, Article 19


Moderated by Gayatri Khandhadai, Asia Policy Regional Coordinator, Association for Progressive Communications


EU Delegation
Rue du Grand Pre 64