UN SR on freedom of religion or belief submits report highlighting gender-specific abuses against women and girls

The report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief outlines efforts to   mainstreaming gender in the mandate’s approach by focusing on discrimination based on gender and gender identity, as well as instances where gender based discrimination is justified on the grounds of religious liberty. The report cites examples such as violence against women or members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, forced conversion, honour killing, enforced ritual prostitution, sexual slavery, all of which get justified on the basis of religious traditions. However, it clarifies that it would be erroneous to assume incompatibility between the right to freedom of religion and women’s right to equality, as individuals, not religions are the holders of the right to freedom of religion or belief.