TAKE A STAND for Women and International Religious Freedom in Africa
International human rights and religious freedom advocates often deploy grassroots campaigns to make their voices heard on issues, specific groups of people and individual cases. Our goal is not to make a point but to make a difference—to get concrete results that have a tangible impact on people’s lives.
The International Religious Freedom Roundtable Women’s Working Group will launch an advocacy campaign early in 2023 in pursuit of specific goals to support women and IRF across four African countries: Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Uganda.
Sign up to learn more about our 2023 Advocacy Campaign
Watch the Dec. 14 Africa Summit Side Event video here:
You can learn more about the Women’s Working Group at https://www.irfroundtable.org/workinggroups
On December 14, 2022, a side event to the 2022 U.S. ‑ Africa Leaders’ Summit was held in Washington, DC to bring attention to women and international religious freedom in African Counties. This event was a collaboration between the International Religious Freedom Roundtable Africa Working Group and the International Religious Freedom Roundtable Women’s Working Group.
Four distinguished panelists (listed below) representing the countries of Nigeria, Cameroon, Uganda and the DRC shared about both visible and invisible concerns that women in their country, and all across Africa, experience. These include blasphemy, forced conversion, forced marriage, religious abductions, discrimination and lack of access to education and to justice among others.
In addition to highlighting the concerns about why these issues are overlooked in Africa, the panelists and audience discussed what is the path forward. All panelists agreed that states should create a safe and enabling environment in which women and girls are able to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief.
Panelists & Moderator
- Mwanga Mastullah Ashah, PhD Human Rights Fellow, Makerere University; Executive Director, Islamic Women’s Initiative for Justice, Law and Peace, Global Director Family Law Reform, Alliance of Inclusive Muslims
- Elaina Fowler, Founder/Principal, FWMgroup; Federal Affairs Associate, Secular Strategies; President, Former Chief of Staff to Texas House Representative who served as Honorary Consul to South Africa
- Judith Nwana, Chair, Coalition for Dialogue and Negotiations; Steering Committee Member, Cameroon Humanitarian Relief Initiative
- Dr. Gloria Puldu, President, LEAH Foundation; Global Director, Give Her Voice
- Lou Ann Sabatier, Director of Communications, 21Wilberforce; Co-founder, FoRB Women’s Alliance; Co-Chair, IRF Roundtable Women’s Working Group