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2013 Human Rights Defenders Forum

Mobilizing Faith for Women: Engaging the Power 
of Religion and Belief to Advance 
Human Rights and Dignity

The Carter Center, Atlanta, Ga.
June 27-29, 2013

Click here to watch the recorded webcast >

Click here read the report (PDF) >


Can religion be a force for women's rights instead of a source of women's oppression?

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights brought together human rights activists and religious leaders from around the world for "Mobilizing Faith for Women: Engaging the Power of Religion and Belief to Advance Human Rights and Dignity" June 27-29 at The Carter Center.

Participants are committed to making concrete gains in women's rights, working within the context of religion and traditional belief structures. While seemingly at odds, this approach is producing results, including the elimination of genital cutting, sexual and gender-based violence, combating human trafficking and securing the right to education and political participation.

The conference is a continuation of the effort by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and The Carter Center to highlight the influence of religion on women's rights and call on people of faith and religious leaders to assume their responsibility to advance equally the well being of all members of society. (Read his 2009 speech to the Parliament of the World's Religions.)

Karin Ryan, director of the Carter Center's Human Rights Program, discusses the importance of the human rights forum. Watch video >


Keynote speakers include President Carter and Mona Rishmawi, chief of the Rule of Law, Equality and Non-discrimination Branch of the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Conference participants include Zainah Anwar, founder of Sisters in Islam; Elizabeth Schussler Fiorenza of Harvard Divinity School; Dr. Laurie Zoloth, incoming president of the American Academy of Religion; Cardinal Monsengwo Archbishop of the Catholic Church in the DRC; Sister Simone Campbell from Nuns on the Bus, and others.

See full list of participants and bios (PDF) >

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