A male expert talking about war. That is what it normally looks like when Swedish media report from conflict regions. A new monitoring by the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation shows that women and civil society are conspicuous by their absence.
Sweden is to host an international conference on developments in Iraq and the UN’s role in this work. This was revealed by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt at a recent NATO summit meeting.
The government is poised to present its global development policy report to parliament, a policy for alleviating poverty and securing sustainable development. The Swedish popular movements have monitored government actions and come to the conclusion that it is a long way from gaining approval. To gain approval the government also has to implement the Swedish Policy for Global Development (PGU) in areas in which Sweden has a vested interest, such as arms exports and trade policy.
Following suspected election rigging in this year’s Armenian Presidential Elections, official figures claim that ten people died during demonstrations in Jerevan on March 1. Eyewitnesses say that at least 60 people died. A large part of the opposition is imprisoned and the opposition leader is under house arrest. Several of the Kvinna till Kvinna partner organisations say that the international community is not taking the Armenia situation seriously.
On February 19, presidential elections were held in Armenia. Politically active women were subjected to threats, blackmail and violence both during and after the elections. According to the OSCE’s first assessment, the elections were conducted in compliance with international standards. A betrayal of the women, says Gulnara Shahinian, Board member of one of the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation’s partner organisations in Armenia.
Women play a key role in peace initiatives and conflict prevention. UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security must permeate all EU relations with conflict-affected countries. EU must be better at utilising and spreading the good examples that exist of how the work should be done. That was the message when Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation President Lena Ag spoke at the EU Commission’s seminar to mark International Women’s Day on March 8.
After Israel’s massive bombing of northern Gaza in the hunt for Hamas, an outrage took place on March 6 in Jerusalem when a 25-year-old Palestinian killed eight Jewish students at an ultraorthodox school. For the civil population in Gaza, breaking-point was reached a long time ago.
“Is there anyone among us who does not regard Kosovo as Serbia?!” shouted Kostunica from the stage in front of the former Yugoslavian parliament in Belgrade on Thursday evening.
Local elections are taking place in Iraq in the summer. Despite the constitution demanding 25 per cent women in all decision-making assemblies in the country, women’s participation in political is still very poor. The Baghdad Women’s Association is striving to change this.