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Welcome to 2015 with Operation 1325. This year is historic on many levels. In Sweden we are excited about the strong support for our work through the government’s feminist foreign policy. It shows that Sweden is willing to work hard for women around the world and their human rights, including the right to decide over her own body. The Swedish foreign policy prioritizes women´s freedom, rights and opportunities and these will also permeate the Swedish aid policy. In international operations, it is important that the participants have the opportunity to receive training in gender mainstreaming and in Security Council Resolution 1325. The new UN Sustainable Development Goals which will take us to 2030 contain a clear agenda to increase women´s power and influence for sustainable peace. Civil society has a continued important role in demanding adherence, raising awareness, lobbying, monitoring the practice, reviewing results and contribute to increased peace and equality. 

Equal access to power and resources must be the norm and basic rights and freedom must be experienced. This year we celebrate 15 years of UNSCR 1325. What has been accomplished on the ground? Who has become more attentive to the women´s and girl´s vulnerable position in conflict and post-conflict areas? Which perspective has shaped the work for sustainable peace? Together with our partners around the world, we will review our operations and learn how our contribution better can lead to the changes we are committed to. 

Operation 1325 will in 2015 focus on media and women´s peace movements, and explore how these areas can work together. We will work with our partner organizations to raise the volume and create bigger impact of our message. In Albania we plan to gather media and women´s organisations in a conference about peace journalism and feminist journalism. Our partner organizations in the Middle East and North Africa are preparing to join us for several meetings to interact with journalists and develop methods of feminist media coverage. We continue our cooperation in Turkey about UNSCR 1325 and the ongoing peace with partners. 

“The right to my body” is the theme of this year´s International Women´s Day, which is celebrated at Fryshuset in Stockholm. Meet us there! Defending women´s and girl´s right to their own bodies is an important part of foreign and security policy. In post-conflict areas there must be a gender agenda that is present in every action and step, all the way.  

In 2015, we are a resource organization, supported and guided by trusting partner’s organizations with a clear mandate in the Swedish civil society. We are an organization with knowledge about UNSCR 1325 and offer national and international trainings. We are part of the debate that raises in UNSCR 1325 on the agenda, and conducts advocacy for the empowerment of women in peace processes. Thank you for your contributions to our learning and for your confidence. Welcome to participate in our work!

Annika Schabbauer  – Director of Operation