EFOMW Webinar series – 11 May.

On the occasion of EFOMW’s 15th anniversary, EFOMW organised its first webinar this year to discuss racial justice in the EU.

The current developments to ban the headscarf in the public for minors in France and for women working as civil servants in Germany has raised questions, to which direction EU countries are going with their work gender equality, women’s inclusion/emancipation in the society, and religious freedom.

To further explore these issues and stimulate discussion on the current situation and opportunities for the full realization of human rights for Muslim women in European societies, we invited Mr. Alfiaz Vaiya, co-founder of the Equinox Initiative for Racial Justice and former Coordinator of the European Parliament Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI).

After short introduction of his work with the Equinox Initiative for Racial Justice, the effort to tackle racism at institutional and structural level and to push forward for policy change, Mr Vaiya described a new paper/recommendations regarding gender equality that we can expect soon. This paper will seek to change the current European approach to tackle gender inequalities, to move from current narrative and incorporate more efficiently intersectional approach in the European framework for gender equality. This is the only way to tackle discrimination against minority women.

Further we discussed current political discourse in Europe, rise of Islamophobia and situation of Muslim communities in Europe in light of new policy proposals in France, Austria, Belgium.

We tried to find an answer on what kind of development we can expect in near future, tools for achievement of human rights for Muslim women and how to combat institutional discrimination of Muslim women in fields of education and employment, expectations from European Commission’s new ambitious anti-racism action plan and more.

About our speaker:
Mr. Alfiaz Vaiya is the co-founder of the Equinox Initiative for Racial Justice which is a people of colour-led initiative working to advance rights and justice for all people in Europe through influencing European Union law and policy. Mr. Vaiya was previously the Coordinator of the European Parliament Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI). At ARDI, he managed the legislative and non-legislative work on a wide range of issues such as racial justice, migration, counterterrorism, harmful online content including hate and disinformation, workplace diversity, and political representation. Prior to his role at ARDI, Mr. Vaiya was at the Secretariat of the European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance and Advocacy Officer at Human Rights Without Frontiers where he worked on human rights in foreign policy.