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What happened- and what are the plans for 2016?

It is a decade since the formal establishment of Operation 1325. Most of the founding organizations are still here and with others we have chiseled out better forms of cooperation. Supporters, visionaries, strategists and hard-working activists have brought us where we are today. It is an honor to direct this strong network of women peace-makers into the next decade in which we are sure to harvest more fruits of truth, justice and security for women in conflict areas.


Peace on Earth

It is never as important to continue believing and holding on to faith than in times of conflict and violence, when human suffering and desperation seems to be everywhere. We have to remember that after hard times, good times will come. This is the poem of Elsa Zetterberg, the 9 year old granddaughter of Eva Zetterberg. Sometimes we all just have to listen to a good, loving and peace supporting child in order to resurrect a dear old memory from the past; that the good always wins. The only difference is that now, we actually have the power to makes this childhood belief come true. This is something we all should remember when writing the history of today.


Women’s Rights and the Impact of Media

A common theme from yesterday was the recurrent discussions about the patriarchal systems and how it’s counteracting the women’s rights movement and the implementation of UNSCR 1325. One of the consequences of patriarchy is that women are pushed back to be caretakers, victims or sexual objects and thus cannot use their professional skills. The Swedish journalist and participant Bitte Hammargren, with great experience from Palestine and Iraqi Kurdistan, gave a much appreciated statement; “If you have wishes in your life, you have to go for it!”This is one reason why media must promote strong women in their reporting – it inspires feminist all over the world to keep fighting for change.


4 countries and 1 agenda

Fourteen people are gathered at the Folke Bernadotte Academy in Sandö. Thirteen of us are women, only one is a man. Six of us were born in Sweden, three have travelled all the way from Palestine, four have come from Iraqi Kurdistan and one arrived from Lebanon. We all have different backgrounds, experiences, identities and authorities. But together, we represent a group of people with the same agenda: the implementation of UNSCR 1325.


Iraq at a crossroad

”The year is 2015. Despite that, we have to buy off our women and children, we have to pay for their freedom. It is nothing less than a human market that exists today”. These are the concluding words of Vian Dakhil, the only female of Yazidi ethnicity in the Iraqi Parliament, who manages to transform the seminar about the political, social and military situation in Iraq into a humanitarian issue. Vian points out that she represents the entire population, but she wants to draw particular attention to the Iraqi minorities – who currently experience one of the most horrible crimes in human history.