Here are some girls at school in the Central African Republic.

Girls and young women have been the focus of this week's debate. Here are some girls at school in the Central African Republic. Photo: Pierre Holtz for Unicef

Current debate

Girls' Day created a debate about Swedish gender equality policy

The UN's International Girls' Day on 11 October arouses reflection and reflection from several quarters. Earmarked aid or not, and Sweden's responsibility in standing up for girls' and women's rights has been in focus in the Swedish media over the past week.

The next government must continue to work for a foreign policy with gender equality in focus, especially in times when several setbacks against gender equality have been documented in several places in the world, writes Mariann Eriksson from the children's rights organization Plan International in a debate article in Aftonbladet. Eriksson wants to see a higher gear in the work for gender equality to "remove the obstacles that stand in the way of girls - and in the long run for the world at large".

The Social Democrat Anders Österberg shares Eriksson's thoughts on continued Swedish gender equality work and points out that Sweden has pursued a courageous feminist foreign policy which, among other things, has contributed to pushing issues around women, peace and security in the UN Security Council and increased work in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR ). This at a time when “a right-wing conservative Trump administration wants to stop women's right to abortion through reduced aid to the organizations that support it. Or when Sweden Democrats want to restrict the right to abortion ”.

Cecilia Chatterjee-Martinsen, Secretary General of WaterAid Sweden, writes in OmVärlden that different organizations, ministries and authorities must start working together and understand that the global development goals are connected. Investing in goal 6, clean water and sanitation, she believes is a "basic precondition for gender equality, education, SRHR, universal health care and poverty reduction".

In Tanzania, pregnant girls are denied education, which forces these girls to choose between performing dangerous and illegal abortions in order to continue school or lose the opportunity to study, writes Jenny Sonesson in an editorial in Göteborgs-Posten. Sonesson is critical of Sweden's non-earmarked aid to Tanzania despite the Tanzanian government violating the human rights of girls and women in the country.

This week, the report was published "Budget Support, Poverty and Corruption: A Review of the Evidence" by Geske Dijkstras where she studies the effectiveness of non-earmarked aid. In a debate article in Dagens Nyheter, she writes that “The results are striking. Budget support has been a very effective instrument for combating poverty ". Dijkstras concludes, contrary to Sonesson's view of non-earmarked development assistance, that it has “contributed to more people going to school, that gender equality has increased in terms of access to primary education and that access to health care, as well as water and sanitation have improved ”.

Sweden's work for development goal 5, gender equality

"Let every day be a girls' day"
Mariann Eriksson, Aftonbladet

"Do not provide unconditional assistance to Tanzania that denies pregnant women education"
Jenny Sonesson, Gothenburg Post

"Effectively providing aid to support the country's budget"
Geske Dijkstra, Dagens Nyheter

"Feminist politics make a difference for women"
Anders Österberg, Aftonbladet

"With the right investments, everyone can have clean water by 2030 - but then we have to shift up"
Cecilia Chatterjee-Martinsen, OmVärlden

Climate policy

"Every human being counts for the climate"
Anders Rosén and Louis Landeman, Svenska Dagbladet

"Companies necessary to achieve climate goals"
Christofer Fjellner, Gothenburg Post

"Climate must be an issue for all parties"
Karin Pleijel and Ulf Kamne, Göteborgs-Posten

"The climate goal is at stake if we do not act"
Lars Zetterberg and Jessica Henryson, Svenska Dagbladet

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