Gender & Freedom of Religion or Belief in Asia

Event Start:
Event End:
8:00 am TO 9:00 AM
(GMT -5:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada), Bogota, Lima
Search for Common Ground, Research Initiatives Bangladesh, Stefanus Alliance International, Asia Religious & Ethnic Freedom, USAID & ConnexUs
Online Event
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Asia Religious & Ethnic Freedom Webinar

This webinar is hosted by ConnexUs as part of the Asia Religious & Ethnic Freedom (Asia REF) project. We will delve into the intersection of gender & freedom of religious or belief (FoRB) in Asia, exploring the relationship between these rights with specific examples from Bangladesh.

Through engaging presentations and an interactive discussion, experts and practitioners will have the opportunity to learn from each other and contribute to the collective effort of advancing religious freedom in Asia.


Ruhi Naz is an Advocate of Supreme Court of Bangladesh, as well as a researcher, rights and social activist. She is the Assistant Director of Research Initiatives Bangladesh (RIB), a research-based organization. It is by support of RIB and through their various programs that large sections of disadvantageous, minority, marginalized groups have been able to be included in the development agenda and been empowered to claim their rights and entitlements. As a legal practitioner and a social activist, Ruhi is actively involved in promoting human rights and closely works with people from different parts of Bangladesh with a view to raise awareness, create sensitization towards empowerment, promotion, effective implementation of rights and protection policies. She has experiences of dealing with cases and research works involving statelessness, internal displacement, voluntary migration, forced migrations, gender rights, governance and development. She has broadly spoken about Right to Information, FoRB, migration, forced displacement and Rohingyas issues in several international platforms.

Vija Herefoss works as a senior advisor Women and Faith, at the international department of Stefanus Alliance International, a Norwegian missions and human rights organization. She oversees projects in Middle East and Central-Asia and has the main responsibility for developing strategy for gender mainstreaming in the organization. Vija has also been involved in developing resources on the intersection of gender and FoRB, and together with her colleague Elisa Chavez have produced an introductory booklet titled “Freedom of Religion for everyone: women in focus”. She has also been part of an international reference group reviewing online learning materials on gender and FoRB for the Norforb learning platform. Vija holds M.Phil degree and a partly finished PhD in theology and has more than ten years of experience in researching and lecturing on intercultural communication and contextual theology at a university level.