Ålands fredsinstitut
The Åland Islands Peace Institute

Hamngatan 4
AX-22100 Mariehamn, Åland, Finland
Tel. +358 18 15570
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Publication about
the Åland Example


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On the 3rd of October 2013 the Åland Islands Peace Institute held a workshop at the Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC) XII General Conference arranged in Mariehamn, Åland, Finland.

In the workshop “Youth empowerment and non-formal education with gender perspective” the ÅIPI focused on non-formal education, practical methods which promote gender equality among young people, thus strengthening empowerment.

Methods such as the Girl and Boy Group Method and the Fair Sex Method, underpinned by the idea of positive peace, aim at creating spaces for discussion, spaces for contestation and for imagining a more equal and less violent world. 


The ÅIPI director Ass. Prof. Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark has written a blog piece based on her introduction to the workshop: Youth unemployment, psychological disorders and the power of human imagination - an interpretation of the work of the Åland Islands Peace Institute.

The workshop aimed at examining how non-formal education with gender perspective can empower young people to challenge gender stereotypes and facilitate their personal, social and economic fulfillment and participation in family, society and the workforce. The thematic concepts of gender perspective, gendered norms and empowerment was illustrated by best practice examples of Nordic-Baltic NGO cooperation and the local project initiatives on the Åland Islands. The importance of individual empowerment was highlighted also in respect to such labour market related risks as sexual harassment and trafficking.

The workshop participants were engaged in interactive discussions and exercises used in practical work with teenagers in the frame of the girl and boy group activities and the ‘Fair Sex’ workshops.

Finally, a report on women and men in the Union of the Baltic Cities 2013 was presented by Jennie Brandén from the city of Umeå and the UBC Commission on Gender Equality. The report highlights the importance of a continuous work to promote gender equality and need for further action in the UBC. The report that is available at ubc.net, is to be used practically in all the work of the UBC.