This 31st annual World Report summarizes human rights conditions
in nearly 100 countries and territories worldwide in 2020.
It reflects extensive investigative work that Human Rights Watch
staff conducted during the year, often in close partnership with
domestic human rights activists.
The Special Rapporteur fully agrees that the right to freedom of religion or belief can never be used to justify violations of the rights of women and girls, and that ‘it can no longer be taboo to demand that women’s rights take priority over intolerant beliefs used to justify gender discrimination’ [as noted by former Special Rapporteur Asma Jahangir]. Acknowledging and rebuking these practices, however, does not mean tacitly accepting an inherent incompatibility between the right to freedom of religion or belief and gender equality. Instead, the two should be understood in a holistic manner as mutually reinforcing human rights norms. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief