There is an important story about women, peace and security that needs to be told.
We are putting the spotlight on women who have paved the way – the bold and the brave – and we know there are and can be many more of them.
We are pushing for #MoreWomenMorePeace

In April 2017, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) presented new country reports on human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The reports form part of the Government’s work to promote, prevent and influence developments in these areas. The reports can be read on the Government website. Here, I describe some of the overarching trends that can be identified based on the extensive material contained in the reports.

President Macron has made measures to stop violence against women an important political priority. Increasing attention is being given to gender equality issues in the public debate in France. Last year, a new law was adopted that prohibits the purchase of sexual services. Sweden was an important source of inspiration for the French law.

The Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) has decided to fund a pilot study aimed at strengthening awareness of the link between online hate campaigns against journalists and organised disinformation, writes Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström.

The Swedish embassy in Pakistan help ensure that violence against women is given higher priority, that authorities respond to the violence and that women gain access to justice? This is done through the project Seven on Tour – a documentary play about seven women activists from seven countries. All this in Pakistan, which ranks in international surveys as one of the most dangerous countries for women to live in.

How is violence against women addressed? The violence is clearly present in all countries and culture. The question is what men – because, as a rule, the perpetrator is a man – can do about it. In May, the Swedish Embassy in Berlin hosted a Swedish-German dialogue with a broad panel discussion on this theme. Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Regnér, the main speaker, explained the new Swedish strategy to combat violence against women.

Sexual and gender-based violence is used as a tactic of terrorism by a range of today’s violent extremist groups. This makes it essential to address violence against women and girls as an integrated part in countering and preventing violent extremism. This is key to Sweden’s feminist foreign policy.

The Swedish Embassy in Hanoi, in cooperation with Save the Children Vietnam and the University for Social Sciences and Humanities in Hanoi, have produced a Vietnamese version of the Save the Children Sweden handbook ‘Respect! My body!’

Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic. We have to start treating it that way. That means working both nationally and internationally at all levels, and tackling all root causes, symptoms and forms of the plague. This is a priority for Sweden’s feminist government and feminist foreign policy.