At the fundamental level, men and women who do not choose to follow their faith devotedly should not be treated any differently. They are all to be given equal treatment, as the Quran says:
لَاۤ اِکۡرَاہَ فِی الدِّیۡنِ
That is, “There is no compulsion in religion” (Holy Quran, 2:257). Any behaviour, attitude, or cultural inclination, that intends to compel other adults in any way is sinful and not allowed in the religion of Islam. However, that does not mean that organizations cannot have rules for behavior or codes of conduct expected from members holding important positions.
If a university, for instance, makes the rule that no students are allowed to smoke marijuana within its premises, it would not mean that it is discriminating against the students. It only means that certain types of behaviour are not being promoted within a university environment, despite the law allowing marijuana consumption elsewhere. Similarly, as far as the organization or nizam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama‘at is concerned, certain things are expected from those members who hold important positions within the nizaam. This includes having a beard (for men), or having a hijab (for women), among other expectations.
It may be argued that such outward appearances may have little bearing on a person’s spirituality, and seems to be a superficial way of determining a person’s faithfulness in his or her religion. However, this criticism is drawn from little reflection over the issue. As far as a person’s innermost connection with God is concerned, that is a matter between him/her and God. There is no way for anyone to determine it with absolute conviction. At the same time, it is also true that a person’s devotion in faith would mean that he is sincerely following the dictates of his faith both inwardly and outwardly. In the case of Islam, a sincere Muslim man would naturally be inclined to follow the practice of the Holy Prophet(sa) and keep a beard. Similarly, a sincere Muslim woman would naturally be inclined to follow the commandment in the Quran to wear a head-covering. This may not be true for every single person, but it is true for the truly devoted followers of Islam, who are well-educated about its teachings. These may be called indicators which point to the likelihood or high probability of a person’s sincere faith.
Furthermore, those who hold any position in the nizaam are expected to be role models for others. Hence, it would be natural for the Jama‘at to select those individuals for high positions who are following Islam, at least as far as the indicators are concerned. The real, inward sincerity of a person can be determined in the long run through his/her performance of religious duties.