5 February 2021 | Women “disproportionately suffer the tragedies of human existence,” according to Ganoune Diop, the Adventist denomination’s director for Public Affairs and Religious Liberty who also serves as Secretary General of the International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA).

Diop delivered a January 26, 2021, keynote address to more than a thousand attendees drawn from both the United Nations (UN) community and many faith-based organizations, according to a report by Bettina Krause of the General Conference Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department.

The Adventist leader was addressing the seventh annual UN symposium in a series focused on the role of religion and faith-based organizations in international affairs.

“Women are often the prime targets and victims of wars, genocides, human trafficking, domestic servitude, and slavery,” he said, “all adding to the toll of insecurities prompted by the multifaceted reality of gender inequality.”

Diop said that to solve this inequality it was important to recognize that in many social and cultural contexts, women are not seen as fully human and that this has led to one of the “overarching and deepest obstacles” hurting women globally – gender-based violence.

“Domestic violence, societal violence, the horrors of human trafficking, all disproportionately affect women and girls and reveal the dark side of humanity,” Diop said.

Beyond raising awareness of abuse, the symposium sought to “begin a dialogue—between governments, international bodies, faith groups, and other civil society groups—about ways to collectively confront these challenges,” according to the report by Krause.

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