Governments across the world have been urged to do more to protect women, who are the most at-risk group when it comes to religious persecution.
According to ADF International, women face kidnapping, slavery, rape and death because of their religious affiliation, and are often presented as easy targets.
Speaking on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Kelsey Zorzi, president of the non-governmental organisation committee on freedom of religion or belief at the United Nations, said, ‘No one should be persecuted because of their faith.
‘Recent studies show that women are particularly victimized because of their faith. Because they belong to a minority religious group, they are kidnapped, enslaved, raped, and even killed.
‘For example, Boko Haram specifically targets Christian women in Nigeria, just as Daesh targeted Christian and Yazidi women in Syria and Iraq’.
Ms Zorzi, who is also director of advocacy for global religious freedom for ADF International, added, ‘We urge all governments and the international community to protect these women who are doubly persecuted because they belong to a religious group and are women’.