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De Verschuivende Grenzen tussen Staat en Religie en hun Impact op de Samenleving 

Is secularisme (scheiding van staat en religie) essentieel voor gelijkheid, religieuze diversiteit en democratie?

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Discrimination against women on the basis of their gender occurs in religion, politics, education, employment, public life, mobility, social services, family and marital status, and even before the law.

In developing countries, they generally bear the heaviest burden of marginalization, violence and exploitation by society as a whole.

Women and girls are half of the world's population, do two-thirds of the world's work hours, receive a tenth of the world's income and own less than a hundredth of the world's property.

The level of discrimination differs from country to country. In many countries, equality is anchored in the constitution but in practice discrimination is deeply-rooted in society. Historically, it goes back to the transition from “hunting” to “agriculture”.

The recent events in Iran, Afghanistan and several other countries are a few violent expressions of discrimination. Many different forms are less visible and have become accepted norms which are not even perceived as discrimination or violence.

Discrimination of women is a denial of right to dignity and equality. Its effects are devastating, including low self-esteem, low expectations, depression, stress and anxiety.


This Online Dialogue was meant to understand the roots of women discrimination, its various forms and what must be done for their equitable participation in all aspects of life.

Our speakers were:

Tahira Abdullah

She is a human rights defender, social scientist and economic development researcher and practitioner. Ms Abdullah works voluntarily for numerous trusts, civil society organizations, non-profits, policy groups, and academic bodies. She is a strong supporter of extremism-free education and easy access for women from rural areas. As a strong supporter of women's rights, she always raises her voice against all kinds of gender violence. 


Shiva Mahbobi

Shiva was a student activist in Iran and was arrested when she was 16 and spent more than three years in prison. Following her release, Shiva continued her activities and eventually had to flee Iran and go to Turkey in 1992; she was a refugees and women’s rights campaigner in Turkey and worked with the International Federation of Iranian Refugees. She then went to Toronto-Canada where she was the coordinator of the Action Committee in Defence of Women’s Right in Iran. She moved to the UK in 2001 and was in charge of the public relations for the International Committee against Stoning from 2002-2004. She is a psychotherapist, women rights activist and currently is the spokesperson for the Campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran (CFPPI).

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