Upcoming Events


Date: Wednesday, 20 March 2024
Time: 12:30 PM (EST)
Location: Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission Building Auditorium   ///   221 E 52nd Street New York, NY 10022
Organizers: Jubilee Campaign, Coptic Solidarity
RSVP: https://forms.gle/Ydy8Cc8s4e8CqRE48


United Nations mechanisms, advocacy organizations, and government authorities across the world alike have recognized the double vulnerabilities faced by women and girls of minority faith communities. Testimonies of survivors have exposed how patriarchal customs and majority religion often work in tandem against women’s equality, security, and empowerment. “Doubly marginalized”, these women and girls are susceptible to rights violations including smear campaigns; sexual and gender-based violence, remarkably higher in situations of conflict; abduction and forced marriage, especially of children; denial of custody rights; forced faith conversions; enslavement by militant actors; and more.

In each of the countries to be discussed during this panel, deficits in state actors’ political will to protect minority communities exposes women and girls in these vulnerable groups to gender-specific violations including sexual violence, enslavement, and forced marriages. Concurrently, negligible social protection systems fail women and girl survivors who return to their home communities or otherwise relocate to host communities and face multifaceted hardships. Their abrupt removal from education a major determinant of skill acquisition and career trajectory, threatens surviviors’ realization of economic empowerment and independence. Inaccessible and/or inadequate treatment for injuries sustained from sexual violence and aggravated physical abuse can lead to long-term health complications, chronic pain, disabilities, etc. Legal challenges, including obtaining protection orders and financing legal counseling and representation, hinders survivors’ ability to seek justice against perpetrators and can expose them and their families to retaliation.

This event will expand upon the above observations of gaps in social protection systems which exacerbate faith minority women and girls’ susceptibility to violence, exploitation, and reparations. Additionally, we will focus on how to establish new ones in home and host countries both as a preventive measure against gender-specific rights violations, and as a tool to rehabilitate survivors post-violations and work to mitigate future incidences.

Guiding Questions

  • How do we combat the interconnected patriarchal and faith-based views regarding the value of women as well as their duties and responsibilities?
  • How does the intersection of religious identity and gender influence access to social protection services and resources for women and girls?
  • How do socioeconomic factors intersect with religious identity to impact the vulnerabilities of women and girls?
  • What role do legal frameworks play in either protecting or exacerbating the vulnerabilities of women and girls from minority religious communities?
  • How does the lack of social protection systems contribute to the perpetuation of harmful cultural practices or traditions within faith minority communities?
  • What are some successful examples of initiatives or interventions aimed at empowering and protecting women and girls in minority religious communities?
  • How do we ensure that the protection of vulnerable minority groups is a priority on the political agenda?
  • How can partnerships between government agencies, civil society organizations, and religious leaders be strengthened to support the rights and well-being of women and girls from minority religious groups?

Confirmed Speakers

  • Ann Buwalda – Executive Director, Jubilee Campaign
  • Nadine Maenza – President, International Religious Freedom Secretariat; Global Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center; Senior Advisor, Freedom Research Foundation; Former Chair, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
  • Nicolas Levrat – United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues; Director of European Studies, University of Geneva
  • Caroline Doss – President, Coptic Solidarity
  • Nafiya Naso – Yazidi Activist; Settlement Coordinator, Operation Ezra
  • Jamileh Naso – Co-Founder & President, Canadian Yazidi Association
  • Anna Townsend – Chair of Trustees, Women Without Roofs Nepal; Director, Dislocated Christians; Author, Come with me to Kathmandu: 12 powerful stories of women’s courageous faith in Nepal
  • Eiga Kenny – Centre for Legal Aid Assistance & Settlement

Useful Resources

RSVP: https://forms.gle/Ydy8Cc8s4e8CqRE48