“Men and boys, along with women and girls, should be engaged in advancing the rights, health and well-being of women and girls”, writes Sweden’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia, Anna Maj Hultgård, and her team at the Embassy of Sweden in Cambodia, in an open letter published by Phnom Penh Post.
Together with the Head of Development Cooperation, Kristina Kuhnel and the Gender Focal Person at the Embassy in today’s, Erik Wallin, the Ambassador express their appreciation of all the hard work done by the champions of gender equality in Cambodia, in connection to International Women’s Day (March 8.).
“Since International Women’s Day was first celebrated in 1911, we have witnessed an unprecedented expansion of women’s rights globally. The right to vote is nearly universal, and women are increasingly taking up leadership positions, in businesses and in politics. More women have entered the labour market. Today the majority of countries have outlawed violence against women. And women live longer.”
“In Cambodia, the gains in gender equality are mirrored in, for example, the enrolment rates of girls in primary and secondary education, which are today equal to that of boys. Maternal mortality has decreased substantially,” writes the embassy and introduces the Swedish Government’s new ‘feminist foreign policy.’
While this foreign policy seeks the same goals as any visionary foreign policy – peace, justice, human development and respect for human rights – it takes further steps to “engender” the approach to foreign policy.
Sweden will use five interlinked strategies for implementing the feminist foreign policy:
• Strengthen the rule of law and human rights, for example, by strengthening institutions working against men’s violence against women and by providing support to local women’s rights organisations.
- Stop violence against women by focusing on human security and by analysing structural causes of violence against women.
- Focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights by actively pursuing the legal aspects of sexuality and reproduction, including the right to abortion.
- Strengthen women’s economic empowerment by promoting women’s entrepreneurship.
- Support sustainable development by emphasising the connections between climate change, poverty reduction and women’s rights.