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Sweden pushes feminist foreign policy in wake of #MeToo

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Sweden pushes feminist foreign policy in wake of #MeToo
Margot Wallström. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT
13:17 CET+01:00
Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström vowed to press ahead with gender equality and feminism in the annual foreign policy statement on Wednesday.

She said that autumn had been summed up by "a remarkable movement that could be summed up by two words: Me too".

"Women across the world are being overlooked when it comes to resources, representation, and rights," she said.

"And this is the simple reason we are pursuing a feminist foreign policy with full force across the world."

Sweden launched its feminist foreign policy when Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's centre-left government came to power in 2014. Wallström pointed out that Sweden was working with educating women in Saudi Arabia and Iran, creating social debates in Rwanda, Colombia, and Afghanistan. 

"Sweden is one of the largest donors when it comes to reproductive health, through contraception, maternity care, and safe abortion," she added.

"These are some examples of our feminist foreign policy, and we will be watching to see how the world follows."

She also pointed out that there were four times more pages on Wikipedia about men than women, something that around the Swedish embassies around the world will be working to rectify for International Women's Day.

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Wallström also took the chance to criticize Turkey for its "deeply worrying" incursion into a Kurdish-held part of Syria, and she singled out Russia for its role in the Ukrainian war. 

Several Swedish media channels noted that Wallström didn't once mention Gui Minhai, the bookseller who was arrested on a train to Beijing in January – the second time he has disappeared in murky circumstances into Chinese custody.

Sweden, the European Union and the United States have called for his release, but Chinese authorities have given scant information about Gui's legal status. 

Read her full speech (in Swedish) on the Swedish government's official site here

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