EFOMW participated in seminar ‘Women’s rights, Gender and Religion in Europe’, organised by The European Network on Religion and Belief ENORB , 4 October in Brussels.

“The increase in hate crimes and violent speech, targeting, women, religious and ethnic minorities and LGBT minorities has been building over several years, but is now becoming almost normalised online and offline, also legitimised by hate speech from representatives of government and political parties in some parts of Europe.”

The purpose of the seminar was to engage religious groups and belief systems in tackling discrimination and developing progressive narratives in the specific fields of women’s rights and gender. 

EFOMW advocacy coordinator Hajar El Jahidi was part of the panel on The Specific Issues faced by Women from Religious / Ethnics Minorities and The need for intersectionality. She presented the specific discriminations faced by muslim women and the ways in which these women organise and engage to be agents of their own empowerment and emancipation.

The seminar followed up themes developed in the 2017 exploratory European seminar co-organised with EWL (European Women Lobby) which first addressed these challenges and sought to build positive narratives around religion, belief and gender. Some of the points discussed during the seminar :- women in positions of leadership; – violence against women and the valuable inputs from religion to prevent it- the manufactured gender wars derived from false concepts of ’traditional values’- and the search for intersectional feminisms among women from ethnic and religious minorities. 

Participants had a opportunity to discuss challenges, develop positive narratives and explore best practice in the struggle for justice for women and minorities.