Intercultural and Interfaith Dialogue: Freedom of Religion and Women's Rights

In cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and the Anna Lindh Foundation, we would like to cordially invite you to our conference on Intercultural and Interfaith Dialogue.

30. 11. 2023 (12:00)

Jazyk: English Czernin Palace, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Loretánské náměstí 5

Our conference on Intercultural and Interfaith Dialogue will be dedicated to women's rights, and how they can be articulated with freedom of religion. The goal of intercultural and interfaith dialogue is to open channels of discussion in order to raise a greater awareness of the diversity, mutual recognition, equality, and freedom of all human beings. We want to build bridges to allow peaceful coexistence and fraternity in a time of crisis and conflict.

One year ago, the revolt of Iranian women put the issue of women's rights back at the heart of political and societal debates regarding the Middle East and North Africa. Women's rights are often perceived as conflicting with religious values and religious institutions. But this is not a fatal problem, as everyone can benefit from more freedom and empowerment. Religious minorities in particular are interested in such issues as equality of rights and respect for individual freedom. Yet, women from these minorities are particularly vulnerable to violence, discrimination, and unequal access to resources.

The expert community, policymakers, diplomats, and civil society can contribute to improving the living conditions of everyone by opening channels of communication towards an integration of women's rights and the rights of religious minorities. Religious actors and religious organizations have an important role to play in this dialogue. In the long run, freedom of belief benefits everyone, men and women, and members of religious minorities and majorities alike. Authoritarian regimes prioritize targeting the most vulnerable categories of people, as we can see with the forced sterilization of Uyghur women. Conversely, the more a society is open and respectful of its own diversity, the stronger and richer it becomes, thanks to the various inputs of its individuals. Women's rights and freedom of belief are both inalienable parts of human rights.

This year's conference on Intercultural and Interfaith Dialogue is hosted by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the International Religious Freedom of Belief Alliance and the Anna Lindh Foundation. 

Goals of the conference:

  • To discuss ways in which women's empowerment can be a source of resilience for religious minorities, and how freedom of belief and women's rights can mutually reinforce each other.
  • To establish a dialogue between individuals with different experiences in order to identify the best diplomatic tools to support this empowerment and freedom of religion.

Den 1 30. 11. 2023

12:00 - 13:00


13:00 - 13:15 Main Hall

Opening Remarks

Mats Braun Director, Institute of International Relations Prague
Azadeh Kian-Thiébaut Director, Professor, Center for Gender and Feminist Studies, University Paris Cité
13:15 - 14:15 Main Hall

Keynote Speech

Rola El-Husseini Associate Professor, Centre for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University
14:15 - 14:30 Main Hall

Coffee Break

14:30 - 15:45 Main Hall

Freedom of Religion and Women's Rights

Women from religious minorities are particularly vulnerable to state repression and societal pressure. In addition, religious freedom can at times clash with women's rights. How to find a way to guarantee equality of all citizens, without distinction of gender or faith?

Alimatul Qibtiyah Commissioner, The National Commission on Violence against Women; Professor, UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta
Mariz Tadros Professor, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex; Director, CREID
Elisa Chavez Human Rights Adviser, Stefanus Alliance International
15:45 - 16:00 Main Hall

Closing Speech


Spolupráce / Záštita

The event is organised in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and the Anna Lindh Foundation.