Protests have spread across Iran, and also elsewhere in the world, since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died after being beaten by Iran's so-called morality police for wearing her veil "the wrong way". The protests have been a central topic on Swedish debate and editorial pages during the past week. Pictured: Protest in London against the compulsion for women to wear the veil in Iran. Photo: Gary Knight. Source: Flickr.

Current debate

Week 38: Debaters demand support for Iranian women's freedom struggle

The wave of protests in Iran, which erupted after the 22-year-old mahsa Aminis death that occurred in connection with her arrest by the Iranian morality police, has characterized the past week's debate and editorial pages. Several debaters are now calling on governments, organizations and individuals to support Iranian women's fight for freedom. Concerns about the consequences of cuts in Swedish aid has also been debated.

This week, the escalating protests for women's rights in Iran have attracted worldwide attention, including in Sweden. In the Swedish debate, however, the praises of Iranian women have been accompanied by criticism of the lack of reaction from the West. Sussan Saberi, representative of the Women's Rights Association, pays tribute to the courage of Iranian women i Sydsvenskan and hope that the incoming Swedish government will show its support for them by severing its political relations with the Iranian regime.

- The people and especially the women in Iran deserve support from the outside world, not least from Sweden, she writes.

Sussan Saberi also expresses disappointment at the continued diplomatic ties to the country and condemns the UN's recognition of Ebrahim Raisi as Iran's president.

Sara Recabarren, journalist and author, similar to the Iranian regime's oppression against women with the dystopian society that the TV series The Handmaid's Tale takes place in. She wants to see an end to the Iranian regime's brutality against women and calls on all who call themselves feminists to show their support for the Iranian women's fight for freedom.

Reduced aid worries several debaters

Last week's debate was also characterized by a concern for the future of Swedish aid after the parliamentary elections, when both the Moderates and the Sweden Democrats want to reduce aid. A reduction in aid would have had disastrous consequences for the food supply, especially in Africa. That's what Anna Tibblin, general secretary at We Effect, Anna-Karin Hatt, president and CEO of the Farmers' Confederation (LRF) and HSB's chairman Johan Nyhus write in a debate article in Aftonbladet. The debaters point out that cuts in aid in the long run can also negatively affect the Swedish economy and Sweden's national security.

I Expressen Jens Orback, chairman of Save the Children, and Cecilia Chatterjee-Martinsen, international director of Save the Children, also express their concern about reduced Swedish aid to Africa. They believe that climate change and geopolitical conflicts make aid more important now than ever.

I Svenska Dagbladet argue Göran Hydén, professor of development policy, and Inge Gerremo, former agricultural council, for a focus on agriculture in aid to the African continent. This is in light of the current food crisis, which during the past year has been significantly aggravated by Russia's war in Ukraine.

- In Africa, agriculture is the key to more effective poverty reduction, they write.

The protests in Iran 

Why so quiet when women in Iran burn their veils?  

Kurdo Baksi, author and social debater, Expressen

"The scenes of protesting women in Iran are wonderful."  

Sussan Saberi, representative of the Women's Rights Association, Sydsvenskan

Iran's women need support - also from us  

Ali Shafiei, interpreter and writer, Aftonbladet 

"Let Iran's Women Feel Supported"  

Sara Recabarren, journalist and writer, Svenska Dagbladet

The Observer view on the backlash in Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini 

Observer editorial, The Guardian

Reduced Swedish aid worries debaters

“Food crisis in Africa requires a new approach to aid"

Göran Hydén, professor of development policy; Inge Gerremo, former agricultural council, Svenska Dagbladet

Reducing aid is a dangerous path for Sweden 

Anna Tibblin, General Secretary We Effect; Anna-Karin Hatt, president and CEO LRF; Johan Nyhus, confederation chairman HSB, Aftonbladet

Politicians, think about this before you withdraw aid

Jens Orback, Chairman Save the Children; Cecilia Chatterjee-Martinsen, International Director Save the Children, Expressen

The Sweden Democrats' view of democracy can make Sweden's work in the EU more difficult

SD does not seem to understand the value of democracy 

Karin Karlsbro, MEP (L), Aftonbladet

SD threatens Sweden's important mission in the EU 

Evin Incir, MEP (S), Aftonbladet

Criticism of Ann Linde (S) after statement about PKK and IS

Unforgivable by Ann Linde

Ahmed Karamus, Co-Chair Kurdistan National Congress, ETC

No, I do not equate the PKK and IS

Ann Linde, Minister of Foreign Affairs (S), Dagens ETC

The EU can handle refugee crises if there is political will

"When there is political will, the EU can handle refugee crises"

Bernd Parusel, researcher at the Swedish Institute for European Political Studies, Dagens Nyheter 

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