Ålands fredsinstitut
The Åland Islands Peace Institute

Hamngatan 4
AX-22100 Mariehamn, Åland, Finland
Tel. +358 18 15570
For more contact information click here.

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Publication about
the Åland Example


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Interreglogos_72On March 7, 2011, just before the International Women's Day, a debate was organized by the Åland Islands Peace Institute in the auditorium of the Åland Parliament at 6 p.m. The debate was about how to prevent sexual violence and it was organized in response to the current debate on rape and sexual crimes legislation on Åland. The Åland debate has centered on sexual crime laws, but not as much on society's perception of sexual violence, the norms associated with gender, on gender equality and on how to prevent sexual violence.
During the debate on March 7th to the Åland Islands Peace Institute was offering a forum to "talk about it", and follow up the debate on sexual crimes legislation and, above all, to broaden the debate in order to discuss sexual violence as a social phenomenon, as well as to discuss how sexual violence can be prevented.
For more information read the invitation and program.
In that sense Mia Hanström, gender consultant, who works as an educator in the Peace Institute's project Challenging gender roles to prevent trafficking has launched a petition to change the Finnish legislation on sexual crimes. The petition will run until April 15.  You can read and write it here.

Speaker of the Åland Parliament, Roger Nordlund was the moderator for the debate. The Peace Institute's project manager, gender expert Jenny Jonstoij spoke about the current debates on sexual violence in Sweden and on the mainland. In addition, she discussed how sexual violence and causes for sexual violence can be viewed from a gender equality perspective. Is sex an equality issue and are there any destructive gender norms that may contribute to the prevalence of sexual violence?

The Secretary General of the Åland Government, Susanne Eriksson presented the draft of the initiative to amend the sexual crimes legislation (link in Swedish), that the Åland Parliament shall submit to the Finnish Parliament. What opportunities are there to influence National Legislation, why is there a need for an overhaul of sex laws, and what starting points should the legislation be based on?

A panel of people, whose work concerns issues related to sexual violence, gender equality or preventive work commented and discussed the subjects of these presentations.

The Peace Institute operates together with the Resource Center for Women, Marta, on the project "Challenging gender roles for Prevention of Trafficking". The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Government of Åland. By girl and boy group activities and information efforts, the project wants to challenge prevailing gender norms, to promote gender equality and to prevent sexual violence, including trafficking.
Peace work includes prevention of violence, promotion of peaceful conflict resolution at all levels and strengthening of the individual's ability to participate actively in society. This is why the Peace Institute is pursuing its work in the sphere of gender equality and the girl- and boy- group approach.


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