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Sweden to host meeting for female Syrian activists

Published måndag 11 januari 2016 kl 20.40
"There are women out there who want to make their voices heard"
(1:46 min)
Utrikesminister Margot Wallström i talarstolen på rikskonferensen Folk och försvar i Sälen. Foto: Henrik Montgomery / TT
Foreign minister Margot Wallström has announced plans to host a meeting for Syrian women in Stockholm. Photo: Henrik Montgomery / TT

As part of Sweden’s feminist foreign policy, minister for foreign affairs Margot Wallström is inviting female Syrian activists to Stockholm for a meeting ahead of the Geneva and London peace talks.

“We hope it will mean that women will feel they are not just seen as victims of this war but also as actors on behalf of their own country and futures,” Wallström told Radio Sweden on Monday after announcing plans to host the meeting.

There are already a number of women among the representatives of the Syrian opposition who are participating in the ongoing peace talks, but Wallström says that is not enough. She says women are all too invisible in the discussions around a peace agreement for Syria.

“I know there are more women out there who would like to make their voices heard and I have met some of them. Therefore, we hope to complement what is already being done by inviting Syrian women wo are politically active or involved in civil society organisations,” says Wallström.

Last month, Wallström launched a women’s mediator network in order to boost the number of female mediators in international conflicts. The meeting of Syrian women that is due to take place in Stockholm this month is unrelated to that initiative, Wallström said.

Sweden will simply provide the opportunity for the Syrian women to meet and to play a role in the peace talks.

Asked if the initiative is part of Sweden’s feminist foreign policy, Wallström said it definitely is.

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