Dr. Mine Yıldırım is Head of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee’s Freedom of Belief Initiative in Turkey
How do restrictions on the right to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) in your country affect women? Are women and men impacted differently by the same security measures? Usually, silence follows when these questions are posed to public officials, civil society organizations, and religious or belief community leaders. Then, though some examples may come to mind, the list of relevant issues rarely extends beyond highly visual restrictions, such as with the headscarf or the burka.
We do not yet have a comprehensive and systematic resource that provides of how the gender dimension of FoRB presents itself and how it should be monitored. Understanding this is particularly important for states and civil society organizations. States must protect the right to freedom of religion or belief for both men and women and must refrain from restrictive measures that disproportionately impact women or men. Likewise, civil society organizations strive to understand how women are impacted by these measures so that they can hold states accountable. (more…)