Dr Sanja Bilic, Operational Manager of EFOMW, and Ms. Linda Hyökki, EFOMW Board member participated on Friday, May 29, 2020, in a round table discussion with the European Commission’s coordinator on combating anti-Muslim hatred, MEPs, and civil society actors on the topic of COVID and its impact on Muslims as a minority but also Muslim women as a specific minority whose discrimination experiences are more than often of intersectional. During the meeting, Dr Bilic presented a document that had been signed by EFOMW and other major European civil society organizations in order to deliver policy recommendations for public actions to address Islamophobia and protect Muslim communities in Europepolicy recommendations to the Commission.

As the European Forum of Muslim Women, we are concerned about emphasizing the aspects of how both EU institutions and civil society are going to act after the pandemic in its recovery period looking for solutions. There is lack of understanding for the importance of intersectionality in data; studies addressing the impacts of the virus have to most not even included the gender aspect, not to mention the aspect of ethnicity, race, religion, and class. It is our strongest aspiration as a pan-European organization to make sure that opportunities for change and empowerment are provided for all women from all backgrounds. Hence we wish that together with the Commission and other civil society actors we, as Forum, can work towards measures that contribute towards harmonizing women’s rights in Europe by exchanging best practices, common and concrete policies.

Read recommendations as pdf here