EWL News

Nordic Forum launches new action for women’s rights!

[Malmö, 15 June 2014] From 12 to 15 June 2014, almost 20 000 feminists met in Malmö (Sweden) during the Nordic Forum, to shape new strategies towards the realisation of equality between women and men, in the framework of the discussions on the 20 years of the Beijing Platform for Action.

20 years after the first Nordic Forum "Women’s Life and Work - Joy and Freedom" in 1994 in Finland, and 10 years after the Nordic seminar "Equal opportunities - for WoMen", the event was initiated by several of EWL members (the Swedish Women’s Lobby, Nytkis - Finland, the Danish Women’s Council) and saw the participation of dozens of Nordic organisations from all fields, dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as representatives from numerous different sectors including activist networks, government, academia and private enterprise.

During 4 days, women and men committed to or interested in women’s rights had the opportunity to discuss with new partners, discover new perspectives, debate issues, attend artistic performances, participate to the parade, call on their national representatives and propose ideas and actions. All issues were explored and addressed, following the 12 critical areas of the Beijing Platform for Action, as well as new emerging issues such as migration, men, everyday sexism, prostitution, arts or media.

The Nordic Forum ended up with an outcome document (in English here), delivered to the Nordic Ministers for gender equality during the closing ceremony. “The Nordic women’s movement is putting forward 63 points that we want our countries to fulfill. It’s time for action… now! But the work on gender equality does not end there,” says Gertrud Åström, Chair of Sweden’s Women’s Lobby.

“Nordiskt Forum has been a fantastic meeting, with nearly 20 000 visitors. We’re convinced that all these people will be taking home new ideas and strategies for the future. This is a united force that will influence our public agencies, civil society, trade unions, municipalities and businesses,” continues Gertrud Åström.

The European Women’s Lobby took part to Nordic Forum through the participation of its President, one Executive member and one Policy Officer to several panels and meetings, including with the UN Women Executive Director, and wishes to congratulate its members from Swedish, Finland and Denmark, and partners from Norway, for the inspiring event they achieved!

Find out more about the activities and thoughts developed during the Forum by looking at the Twitter page of #nf2014 and @NFM2014, the Facebook page and the website of the Nordisk Forum. Click here to get the detailed programme and list of speakers. You’ll find here the videos presenting the Forum in all Nordic languages.

Five important demands from the Nordisk Forum Final Document:

• The Nordic countries’ national budgets, and municipal and regional budgets integrate a gender equality perspective, so that gender equality is shown in financial documents and decisions, and that the equality policy goals are systematically followed up and used as a basis for new measures, and are included in the Post-2015 agenda.

• The Nordic governments fund the women’s movement organisations and co-operate at Nordic level, at least on the same level as other organisations in civil society, so that feminism makes an impact and genuine gender equality is attained in society.

• Women with family links are to be granted their own residence permits that are not linked to the man. Deportation of women subjected to violence is stopped. Women who are subjected to trafficking in human beings are given protection and help, regardless of whether they can or will witness in criminal proceedings.

• The Nordic governments, employer organisations and trade organisations work to promote working life that considers family life and actual working environment and creates reasonable working conditions. The right to full-time employment is increased by legislation or agreements in the countries where women’s involuntary part-time employment is widespread. Uncertain employment positions in the form of hourly-based work and fixed-term employment positions are regulated so that abuse is stopped.

• Nordic authorities help women to assume roles as players, innovators, organisers, teachers, leaders and ambassadors for sustainable development. Climate- and environment-directed aid must always, where relevant, include a gender perspective.

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