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Young voices for gender equality in the Nordic countries

The project aims to promote young people’s ownership of the gender equality issue as a driving force for a sustainable Nordic region. Nordic youth and student organisations will be recruited to the project, where key actors for gender equality and innovation take part.

Through the Design Thinking method and norm critical perspective the young people will be challenged to produce specific solutions related to the global sustainable development goals (Agenda 2030) – based on their perspective of equality, gender norms, democracy, segregated education and professional choices, digitalisation, climate change and diversity as value creators. The activities are connected through two networking sessions and a workshop in order to prepare the networking sessions.

Research-based knowledge to combat sexual harassment and bullying among children and young people

The project is based on increasing research-based sexual harassment knowledge within organisations working to combat bullying in the Nordic region and Lithuania, and within their target groups.

The main activities will be networking meetings and sharing and disseminating research-based methods through a one-day conference for the partners’ target groups and a report highlighting the knowledge gained within the project, as well as methods and tools such as:

  • Tools for mapping sexual harassment at school,
  • Initiatives to change the school climate and unsafe places,
  • Initiatives to combat sexual harassment and exploitation online,
  • Knowledge about body image and pornography, and
  • An action plan course to combat sexual harassment.

The project has been designed in order to share knowledge between the main anti-bullying organisations in the Nordic region and neighbouring Lithuania, and to disseminate effective methods to prevent sexual harassment. All the parties involved will contribute via their specific competences and perspectives, and will involve experts.

Human trafficking – Why unaccompanied girls and boys become victims of human trafficking

The main purpose of the Nordic-Baltic Network of Policewomen (NBNP) is to focus on why unaccompanied girls and boys, young women and men arriving to the Nordic and Baltic countries become victims of human trafficking. 

The aim is to share knowledge, experiences and raise awareness of Nordic and Baltic police, prosecutors, social and health workers, immigrant authorities, politicians, researchers and NGOs on identifying unaccompanied children and young people as victims of human trafficking, and discuss how to combat human trafficking of girls and boys and young women and men in the Nordic and Baltic countries. The project includes a police and a gender perspective in the activities.

NBNP will arrange two activities on human trafficking:

  • An expert seminar for police and border guards in Copenhagen and Malmö. Authorities and organisations working daily with unaccompanied girls and boys arriving in Denmark and Sweden will present challenges of identifying child victims of human trafficking and tools developed to combat human of children and young people. The experts will also visit organisations working with victims of human trafficking.
  • A two-day seminar will be arranged in Vilnius, Lithuania for Nordic and Baltic experts daily working with human trafficking. At the seminar the experts will share knowledge and experience on girls and boys as victims human trafficking, and discuss problems unaccompanied children and young people meet, when they arrive to the Nordic and Baltic countries. Questions as: Why do they disappear, live in the streets and are in the risk of becoming victims of human trafficking, will be discussed. The seminar will be arranged in cooperation with the Lithuanian Police and Nordic Council of Ministers Office in Lithuania.

Full rights for girls in the Nordic countries

The organisations behind this project are troubled by the increasingly harsh climate in society where alarming reports about the vulnerability of girls in the school environment and elsewhere in the public space are becoming progressively commonplace. Regardless of in which country sexual harassment occurs, it implies consequences for young women’s health, participation in the democratic process and overall room to manoeuvre in life.

This project has created a knowledge base and to strengthen the public opinion in the Nordic countries with respect to girls’ rights, gender equality, equal treatment and sustainable health. The aim is to strengthen the public opinion and to shed light on injustices from a Nordic perspective, make room for the situation of girls in the political agenda and demand responsible policy work. The project has also provided training for key persons involved in the implementation of these policies, as well as persons working within organisations that deal with young women’s issues.

Nordic practices for schools and preschools

The issue of gender equality in schools and preschools has received a lot of attention in recent years, especially in the Nordic countries. One reason for this is that the national gender equality and discrimination laws have been expanded to cover also the school systems.

The legislative changes make it necessary to develop the equality and diversity work performed in the school environment, which in turn requires carefully planned staff training for educational professionals and other school personnel.

This project aimed to provide such training by developing a tool for e-learning. The training was provided via an online platform utilising a participatory approach, and was based on the results of a previous project titled Nordic Gender Equality Certification in Education, which identified and explored successful gender equality practices in the education sector.

Nordic gender equality certification in education

In April 2014, the Nordic Council issued a recommendation to introduce gender equality certification of Nordic schools and preschools. In connection with this, a project titled Mapping Promising Nordic Practices in Gender Equality Promotion at Basic Education and Kindergartens set out to stimulate discussion and cooperation regarding the implications of the recommendation for schools and preschools. The aim of the project was to create a forum for sharing of best practice.

The project resulted in a report proposing concrete certification criteria and presenting examples of successful work, which also facilitated further development of existing efforts.

The Nordic sharing of experiences yielded great value and the project continued after the publishing of the report in 2015 with the development of a tool for e-learning.

Gender equality work with youth

The project was launched to address the need for a gender equality focus in work with children and adolescents. At a seminar at the Nordic Forum in Malmö 2014, organisations from the Nordic and Baltic regions talked about how girls’ and boys’ group meetings can prevent violence and promote democracy and gender equality.

The organisations behind the project are having great success with the so-called girl and boy group method in the Nordic countries, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region. The seminar gathered the different actors to exchange experiences and discuss how to jointly spread, develop and ensure a high quality of the method.

The method is based on a democratic and non-hierarchical dialogue between a small group of adolescents and their leader. The underlying idea is always the same: to strengthen the adolescents’ integrity, self-esteem and ability to cooperate and at the same time give them tools to question norms and handle conflicts. The network has continued to collaborate around the methods since the project ended.

Updated 21 November 2019