On 5 and 6 July 2022 the United Kingdom government hosted an International Ministerial Conference on the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief in London.
The conference attracted a global audience from a wide range of backgrounds and expertise, with participation of over 800 delegates and the representation of around 100 governments, including 25 government ministers. Professor Javaid Rehman, Brunel Law School, was an invited speaker at the panel session ‘women and girls: breaking barriers with FoRB’.
In the backdrop of the internationally established right not to be coerced or pressured into renouncing one’s religion or belief, Professor Rehman examined the multiple vulnerabilities of Pakistani girls and women from minority religions, who in many cases are forcibly converted from their religions or beliefs into the majority Islamic faith and then forcible married to Muslim men. His numerous recommendations included educational and economic empowerment of minority girls and women, criminalisation of forced conversions, introduction of legislation establishing national minimum age of marriage for women and men at 18 and abolition of the institution of polygamy in Pakistan.
More about the conference.
Eliza Kania, Media Relations