Women’s refuges to gain from new research funds

The Swedish government has announced the allocation of 200 million kronor ($29 million) over ten years to support research into non-profit civil society groups such as women's refuges.

The money will be spread over three key areas – interdisciplinary research of the civil society, practical research within for example local authorities, and to the diffusion of research findings and the development of statistics.

Nyamko Sabuni is the responsible minister and considers civil society groups to be of core importance to the development of democracy and hopes that the research will help to ensure that the available resources within the sector are optimized.

“There is a great potential to use the forces which exists within civil society. There are society services which can be improved by giving non-profit organizations access to various areas. Their role is at the same time to inspect, criticize and expose the problems that exist in society,” Nyamko Sabuni told the TT news agency.

Sabuni cited organizations that work to combat violence against women to illustrate her point.

“It is the women’s refuges that raised awareness of the issue and elevated it on the political agenda. They help women who are abused but they do so with tight resources and at times in conflict with local municipalities.”

“It is important that women’s refuges are able to operate in this sphere with reasonable conditions and it is with this in mind that we are trying to improve and clarify,” Sabuni said.

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