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The beginning of the year is often a time for reflection due to the administrative closure of the previous year. I find it inspiring looking back at Operation 1325’s activities in 2022. In addition to our activities in Sweden, we have cooperated with and supported seven organisations in five countries. Our partner organisations have worked tirelessly to strengthen the voice of women in peace processes. We worked on several fronts in 2022, from media projects in Turkey, mapping and communication in Palestine, to writing a peace declaration in Yemen.

In Turkey we continued our collaboration with SES (Equality and Solidarity Association) through a media project focusing on disseminating information about the Women, Peace and Security agenda. The project highlighted the important work of Turkish and Kurdish female politicians, activists, academics and journalists in this field. 8,000 readers were reached through more than 80 articles on this theme.

In Palestine, we collaborated with PCPD (Palestinian Centre for Peace and Democracy) on two projects. The first project aimed at mapping Palestinian women’s participation and decision-making in peace processes. The results were used to produce research that can be used to influence policies in favour of women’s participation in peacebuilding. The research have been shared both locally in Palestine and with international actors in Sweden such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The second project was about communication. 20 media trained women were strengthened in their use of conventional and social media with a focus on women’s rights, gender equality and freedom of expression and movement with the aim to disseminate information to both the public and decision-makers. The project will culminate in film screenings across the West Bank on International Women’s Day this year.

In Yemen, our partner organisation AGF (All Girls Foundation), together with two other local actors, collected more than 3900 women’s perspectives on the peace process and the role they believe Yemeni women should play in it. This resulted in the “Yemeni women for peace”, which was shared with decision-makers both at national level in Yemen and Sweden and international actors. The aim was to highlight the importance of women in achieving a sustainable and inclusive peace.

Finally, we believe in the importance of networking, sharing lessons learned and inspiration across borders. An example of this was the conference held in Cairo in October that brought together organisations from three different countries in the MENA region to discuss, exchange experiences and inspire each other. We become stronger together.

Of course, we want to share the knowledge and lessons learned from our local partner organisations with Swedish decision-makers and the general public to raise awareness of Resolution 1325 and continue to demonstrate the important role of women in building peace. Therefore, we have also worked on education and information dissemination in Sweden through articles, podcasts and live streams, among other things.

2022 was indeed an exciting year and I look forward to an at least equally exciting 2023. At the same time, I share the same concerns raised by us and our colleagues in the sector about the shrinking funding and the inevitable consequences this will  have for civil society, both here in Sweden and by extension, in the countries where our partner organisations operate. Needs will not diminish just because funding is reduced. Women will always need to be heard and seen in peacebuilding and security discussions and until the day they are a natural part of it, strong and innovative organisations and individuals will be needed to lead the way to change. And for that, resources are needed.

In Sweden, it is important to have ongoing collaborations with organisations in other parts of the world so we can all gain direct insight into the local situation and thus better understand and empathise. The more diverse our world view, the more solidarity we can up-bring. If you would like to learn more, become a supporting member and get updates directly to your inbox. You can also take the opportunity to Swish an amount of your choice to support our continuous work. We appreciate your engagement / Anette

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