Resistance to women’s, girls’ and young people’s access to sexual and reproductive health and rights has increased, write Margot Wallström, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Isabella Lövin, Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate.

At Sweden’s initiative, Johan Bävman’s photo exhibition Swedish Dads was on display at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris for several weeks in March and April. The exhibition shows 25 fathers on parental leave, and offers a snapshot of Swedish dads’ views on parental leave and gender equality. Some 10 000–15 000 people saw the exhibition at the OECD.

Wikipedia is the world’s most used online encyclopaedia. Among the millions of articles there are four times as many articles about men as there are about women. Behind the scenes the figures are even worse: only nine per cent of editors are women and one per cent are transgender people; the rest are men. Moreover, the majority of those who edit articles are well-educated people from countries in the west.
But this can be changed. Sweden’s Embassy in New Delhi decided to help out.

Representatives of some 50 nations gathered in Brussels at the beginning of March to build a global financial and political partnership for the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women and girls. The She Decides conference reverberated across the world and was able to raise a total of EUR 181 million to support organisations working on SRHR.

In March and April, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Palestine and Bangladesh will publish current gender statistics. This is the result of a Swedish development aid venture, in which Statistics Sweden has trained and provided support to statisticians and users of statistics during one year.

Gender-based violence has enormous consequences, for victims, relatives and friends, and the whole of society. Sweden’s work against gender-based violence is conducted at many levels and with a range of different tools, both nationally and internationally.

The Government’s new gender equality policy strategy shifts the perspective in efforts to combat men’s violence against women from the consequences of such violence to its causes.

How can migrant women lead in their communities and contribute to their new societies? This was the central theme when representatives from business, the NGO community and government gathered at the Swedish Institute to take part in a round-table discussion.

It is not easy to identify short cuts to gender equality. While every country needs to find its own way, leadership is critical. This includes not least the role of male leaders. The formation of networks of like-minded can be very helpful. Ambassador Veronika Bard shares insights from Geneva on how civil services can advance gender equality.

Increasing women’s participation in, and impact on, decision-making at all levels can help prevent large-scale violence. More gender-equal societies are less conflict-prone and score better on development indicators. As the world is celebrating the 15th anniversary of resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, Dr Jannie Lilja at the Permanent Representation of Sweden to the UN in Geneva writes about the Swedish feminist foreign policy in practice.