Webinar Episode 10: Freedom of Religion or Belief and Gender

In this webinar, distinguished experts treat the subject of religious freedom and gender equality in the coronavirus pandemic. 

Webinar Summary

Mariam Gavtadze opens the discussion touching on domestic violence, economic struggles of transgender women, and burdens of accessibility that women face. She encourages building synergy between freedom of religion and gender equality as two closely interconnected human rights. Mine Yildirim follows with comments on the gender dimension of religious freedom and where priority should be placed in the crisis. She outlines an intersectional approach that focuses on how religion and women’s rights can harmonize conceptual and legal frameworks. Ahmed Shaheed then looks to what COVID-19 can tell us about the future protection of the religious freedom of women and girls. He addresses the need to advocate for one another across interdependent human rights communities. The panel concludes with questions on the voices of women religious leaders as well as how to protect doctrinal beliefs related to gender differences without engaging in invidious gender discrimination.


  • Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Freedom of religion or belief
  • Dr. Mariam Gavtadze, Director of Strategic Litigation, Tolerance and Diversity Institute, Member of the OSCE/ODIHR Panel of Experts on Freedom of religion or belief
  • Dr. Mine Yildirim, Head of Freedom of Belief Initiative, NHC and Member of the OSCE/ODIHR Panel of Experts on Freedom of religion or relief


  • Dr. Kishan Manocha, Senior Adviser on Freedom of Religion or Belief, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)