Ålands fredsinstitut
The Åland Islands Peace Institute

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

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Publication about
the Åland Example

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Challenging Gender roles for Prevention of Trafficking is a joint Åland-Latvian project aiming at combating stereotypical gender perceptions at a grass-root level in order to undermine conditions for development of gender related violence, human trafficking and sexual slavery.

The project is focusing on preventive work through empowerment of young girls and boys. The girl and boy group method is a Nordic model of direct work with young people aiming at strenghtening individuals, enhancing the participants' possibilities to become active citizens and at the same time questioning prevailing gender stereotypes in order to achieve greater gender equality and a non-discriminatory setting for individual development.

The Project is carried out by the Åland Islands Peace Institute, Åland, Finland, and the Resource Center for Women, Marta, Riga, Latvia from October 2009 until December 2011. The Project is financed within the framework of the INTERREG IV Programme of the European Regional Development Fund. National co-financing is kindly provided by the Government of Åland.

Click here to find links to resources, info campaigns etc that has been produced or used in the project.

Here you can find information about the project partners and steering group.

Read more...

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NB. The material on the website reflects the authors views and that the Managing Authority cannot be held liable for the information published by the project partners

Summary of project challenging Gender Roles for Prevention of Trafficking

The project Challenging Gender roles for Prevention of Trafficking - a joint Åland-Latvian project aiming at combating stereotypical gender perceptions at a grass-root level in order to undermine conditions for development of gender related violence, human trafficking and sexual slavery - was formally closed in the end of February. Today, on the internatinal women's day 2012 a summary of the project is published in Swedish and English. The summary in English can be downloaded in pdf here.

The project has been focusing on preventive work through empowerment of young girls and boys, information activities and research. The project has been carried out by the Åland Islands Peace Institute, Åland, Finland, and the Resource Center for Women, Marta, Riga, Latvia.

Within the project consultant Mia Hanström wrote a method book for girl and boy groups. The manual (in Swedish) can be downloaded in pdf here.

The research report "Effects of the girl and boy group method – A gender and social psychology perspective on gender equality youth work on Åland and in Latvia" can be ordered from the ÅIPI or downloaded in pdf. Find out more here.

Also check out two short films, produced by Marta, about boy and girl group activities. You can find them here.

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Research report about effects of girl and boy groups

Interreg_rapport_manual_72As a result of a co-operation between researchers on Åland and in Latvia within the project Challenging Gender Roles for Prevention of Trafficking, the ÅIPI can present the report Effects of the girl and boy group method – A gender and social psychology perspective on gender equality youth work on Åland and in Latvia.

It is an effort to initiate scientific knowledge and interest on the girl and boy group method that has been used in the Nordic countries and elsewhere for some time and where Åland has been an eager actor. However, not much structured and comparative documentation and evaluation has taken place. In the report the effects of praticipation in girl or boy groups in relation to gender norms, gender equality, social attitudes and empowerment.

Read more ...

New manual on girl and boy group method

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Manual on the girl and boy group method in Swedish and Latvian, 2011

Within the project Challenging Gender Roles for Prevention of Trafficking consultant Mia Hanström wrote a method book for girl and boy groups. The manual vas edited by Jenny jonstoij and Ulrika Navier and published in Swedish and Latvian in 2011 by the Ålands Island Peace Institute and Resource Center for Women Marta in Latvia.

The manual (in Swedish) can be downloaded in pdf here.

Manual on the girl and boy group method in Swedish and Latvian, 2011

Metodparm_2011Within the project Challenging Gender Roles for Prevention of Trafficking consultant Mia Hanström wrote a method book for girl and boy groups. The manual vas edited by Jenny jonstoij and Ulrika Navier and published in Swedish and Latvian in 2011 by the Ålands Island Peace Institute and Resource Center for Women Marta in Latvia.

The manual (in Swedish) can be downloaded in pdf here.

Challenging Gender roles for Prevention of Trafficking: Closing conference and project results

Interreg_slutkonferens_72On the 15th of December a closing conference of the project Challengng Gender Roles for Prevention of Trafficking was held in Swedish on Åland.

At this conference the project results were presented.

Summary of project results:

- 29 girl and boy groups have been run within the project and all together approximately 230 young people have been involved in the group activities.
- A new girl and boy group method manual has been produced within the project. The girl and boy group leaders have been involved in the process of writing the manual, giving comments and including practical exercises in it. The manual is available in Swedish and Latvian. Read more here.
- The research conducted within the project is one of the first evaluating the method. The research report is available in English, Swedish and Latvian. Read more here.
 - Two information campaigns have been run within the project; “What is gender equality” and “FAIR SEX”.  The Fair Sex campaign has been developed into a workshop, which will be given to all students in the second year of upper secondary school.   Read more about Fair sex here.

 In addition to project staff and consultants from Åland, two international guests held speeches. Ms Iluta Lace, Manager of Resource Center for women Marta in Latvia shared how the introduction and implementation of the girl and boy group in Latvia has worked out. The ÅIPI also welcomed Mr Magnus Sjögren, Swedish expert on gender issues and one of the initiators of developing methodologies for boy group activities.

On the Swedish version of this site pdf:s of power points in Swedish, presented during the conference, can be downloaded.

Closing conferences of project in December

The project Challenging Gender Roles for Prevention of Trafficking is about to close, which will be marked through two closing conferences.

On the 8th of December there will be a closing conference in Riga, where project partner Resource Center for Women, Marta, has organized a programme where the project results will be presented. During the project time the Nordic Girl and Boy Group Method has been introduced in Latvia, and group leaders and project staff will tell about experiences made. In addition, the project researchers will present fresh results from research about the effectiveness of the method, a theme that has not previously been much explored.

On the 15th of December a closing conference will be held in Swedish on Åland. At this conference a newly published manual for boy and girl group leaders will be launched, and results from research will be presented to the audience on Åland. In addition to project staff and consultants from Åland, two international guests are invited to give speeches. Ms Iluta Lace, Manager of Resource Center for women Marta in Lativa will share how the introduction and implementation of the girl and boy group in Latvia has worked out. The ÅIPI is also happy to welcome Mr Magnus Sjögren, Swedish expert on gender issues and one of the initiators of developing methodologies for boy group activities.

The conference will be hled between 1 p.m and 5 p.m in the hotel Pommern in Mariehamn.

Education for girl and boy group leaders held in Riga

Gruppen_72August 26th to 28th six girl or boy group leaders from the Åland Islands and ten from Latvia all partcipated in an educational session in Riga, led by Finnish trainer Mia Hanström. The education was organized within the project Challenging Gender Roles for Prevention of Trafficking as a first step to teach leaders how to extend the network of leaders through education for beginners.

Read more ...

Manifestation against Trafficking

On Sunday 28th of October there will be a minifestation against Trafficking at the Square of Mariehamn on the Åland Islands. The manifestation has been initiated by Gun-Mari Lindholm, second deputy speaker of the Åland Parliament, who is also a member of the Steering Group of the project Challenging Gender Roles for Prevention of Trafficking, lead by the Åland Islands Peace Institute (ÅIPI).

The manifestation will start at 7 p.m.

Radio features sexual slavery on Åland

On wednesday 6th of July 2011 an interview with ÅIPI intern Lovisa Helgoson Arlid was broadcasted in the Åland radio. The interview was the first one in an interview series named "Åland and sexual slavery".

Lovisa has during her six weeks at the ÅIPI - within the project "Challenging Gender Roles for Prevention of Trafficking" - mapped the situation on Åland concerning sexual slavery and prostitution. Through fact collection and interviews she has tried to assess what institutions and actors may be concerned with issues of sexual slavery and prostitution and what information and knowledge about those phenomena that is available on the islands. Her results are to be compiled in a report to be launched in the autumn of 2011.

The interviews (in Swedish) can be found on the home page of the Åland radio.

Information campaign in Latvia

The society has various assumptions on characteristics that are typical for women and those that are typical for men, on things that come easier for girls and those that come easier for boys, on what girls should do and on what boys should do, what things that suit girls better and those that suit boys. These assumptions are so widespread that we start to believe in them and consider them to be correct. Within the Project “Challenging Gender Roles for Prevention of Trafficking” Resource Centre for Women “Marta” started a campaign on April 30. The aim of the campaign is to address young people and push them to reflect upon the traditional gender roles. The campaign encourages the youth to dare be different by problematize gender norms.

During the campaign posters, stickers and badges are being distributed in schools and youth organizations in Latvia, active communication is ongoing on social networks Twitter, Facebook and draugiem.lv, as well as the website http://www.lielaskirba.lv/ is functioning.


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The second information campaign is now running in both countries!

both_logos2 One important part of the project “Challenging Gender Roles for Prevention of Trafficking” is to emphasise gender equality and show the link between gender norms and violence by information campaigns and networking. During the Autumn 2010 the first information campaign was running in both Latvia and on Åland. Now the second information campaign, which targets youth, has started in both counties. Both campaigns have the theme empowerment in common. We want to encourage young people to make their own, independent, choices and to listen to their own needs. The Alandian campaign is called FAIR SEX and aims to encourage to discussions about sex and relationships, mutuality, respect and gender equality among youths. Read more about the campaign here. The Latvian campaign aims to encourage young people to make their own choices and problematize gender norms. Read more about the campaign here.

Fair sex campaign

??FairSex_logo??FAIR SEX is the name of a campaign launched on the 4th of May 2011. The campaign includes drawings and questions concerning sexual situations and relationships. The material can be found on facebbok, posters are displayed in schools on Åland and post cards, stickers and cloth bags are handed out to Ålandic yout. Om the evening of the 4th a event where campign content is discussed, is organised at a youth center in Mariehamn, in cooperation with the Youth bureau of the city of Mariehamn.

The aim of the campaign is to encourage young people to talk about issues related to sexuality, such as: what do I want? How can I express what I want? How can I know what my partner wants? How should I relate to what other people think?

To talk and think about such issues can enhance the chances of experiencing positive sexual relationships and reduce the risk of being exposed to or commit sexual violence.

The campaign is a part of the project "Challenging Gender roles for Prevention of Trafficking", run by The Åland Islands Peace Institute, Finland and Resource Center for Women Marta, Latvia and financed by the Central Baltic Interreg IVA- programme and the Åland government.

The project is focusing on preventive work aiming at promoting gender equality and preventing sexual violence. Working for peace includes working for prevention of violence, promotion of peaceful conflict resolution and strenghtening of the individual's capacity for active participation in society. This is why the ÅIPI is working preventively with youth and with gender issues.

A petition to change the Finnish legislation on sexual crimes

_MG_3402Gender Consultant, Mia Hanström, 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.

Debate on the prevention of sexual violence, March 7

Interreglogos_72On March 7, 2011, just before the International Women's Day, a debate will be organized by the Åland Islands Peace Institute in the auditorium of the Åland Parliament at 6 p.m. The debate is about how to prevent sexual violence and it is 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 is 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. Read more ...

A midterm report of the project

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The project "Challenging Gender Roles for Prevention of Trafficking" managed by the Åland Island Peace Institute in Finland and Resource Center for Women Marta in Latvia, is now entering in its final year and can account for 48 trained leaders and 21 new girl and boy groups in Åland and Latvia. In total, over 100 youngsters are involved in group activities. We can also present a new project manager, a new project economist and two new Steering Group members.



On 17th of January the Peace Institute invited Ålandic medias to talk about how the project was progressing. The press conference resulted in an article in the newspaper Ålandstidningen, an interview in Ålands radio and that week the project manager, Jenny Jonstoij, was interviewed in the TV channel Åland 24.

Read a summary of project results and more here (in Swedish).

Deepening training for girl and boy group leaders

photo_020On 15th of January deepening training for the girl and boy group leaders were held on Åland within the project "Challenging Gender Roles for Prevention of Trafficking". The project is implemented in close partnership with Riga-based Resource Center for Women "Marta" and aims to implementing the unique Nordic Girl and Boy Group method, which provide self worth and autonomy, empowerment and equality among youths. Read more ...

New Steering Group members

The project's Steering Group has received two new members, Peter Soderstrom, expert on masculinity issues, from Sweden, and Gun-Mari Lindholm, second deputy speaker of the Parliament of Åland and a member of the parliamentary working group on civil security and anti-trafficking in BSPC (Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference / Baltic MPs).

New Staff Members at ÅIPI

The Åland Islands Peace Institute has recruited two new staff members within the project Challenging Gender Roles for Prevention of Trafficking.

jenny_nyheterSince December 13 2010 Jenny Jonstoij is the new Manager of the project. Jenny was born on Åland and has previously worked within gender projects in Sweden, among others as National Manager for the Swedish Red Cross' Allan groups.

Gunilla_nyheterSince the beginning of January 2011, Gunilla Björkman-Bobb is the financial manager for the EU project "Challenging Gender Roles for Prevention of Trafficking" handling the financial and administrative portions of the project. Gunilla is also working to a lesser extent with the overall financial administration of the Åland Islands Peace Institute. Gunilla is originally from Finland but has for the last thirty years worked as administrator within the non-profit sector in USA.

Girls and Boy Groups started on Åland and in Latvia

Twenty-one girl and boy groups have started on Åland and in Latvia and more groups are on the way. These girls and boys groups are part of the cross border project called "Challenging Gender Stereotypes for Prevention of Trafficking " between ÅIPI and the Resource Center for Women "Marta", in Riga (Latvia), which highlights the importance of youth empowerment as a tool for promoting more respectful gender relations and thereby reducing the risk of gender based crime.

Read more ...

Marta presents the social campaign "Buy a Girl - Save the State!" in Latvia

Resource Centre for Women "Marta's" social campaign "Buy a Girl - Save the State!" was organized with the aim to prevent trafficking in human beings and start a discussion in the society against legalisation of prostitution and for criminalizing the buyer of sexual services.
Red more about Martas' description of the campaign. Read more ...

Education for boy and girl group leaders in September

training_ggbg1September 3rd to 5th the Åland Islands Peace Institute organizes a training for boy- and girl group leaders on Åland. The education is carried out within the INTERREG IV A project entitled "Challenging Gender Stereotypes for Prevention of Trafficking ". The project is implemented in close partnership with Riga-based Resource Center for Women "Marta", to work on implementing the unique Nordic Girl and Boy Group method, informing the wider audience about the importance of making the links between empowerment, gender equality and gender based crime, as well as scientifically researching the outcome.Interreglogos_72
The BG and GG groups provide the young people with a base from where they can form their own individual opinions on how to act and make choices in everyday life. Group work will lead to enhanced social skills and social networks, this strengthens the participants' possibilities to become active citizens and reduces the risk of them being marginalized.

Read more ...

Campaign on Gender Equality

onefamily4An information campaign about gender equality was launched on Åland between 30th of August and 3rd of September 2010. Five ads were subsequently published in one of the Ålandic local papers. Simoultanously the ads were published on the ÅIPI homepage and on facebook, accompanied by questions related to the themes of the pictures in the ads.

”What is gender equality” was one of two campaigns within the project Challenging Gender roles for Prevention of Trafficking, a joint Åland-Latvian project aiming at combating stereotypical gender perceptions at a grass-root level in order to undermine conditions for development of gender related violence, human trafficking and sexual slavery.

Download the campaign material here.

Read more ...

Seminar and education for girl and boy group leaders

Interreg_logos_projeuOn 15th of April an introductory seminar for girl and boy group leaders will be held at Hotel Arkipelag in Mariehamn from 2 p.m to 4 p.m. The seminar targets people who are interested in gender issues and the personal development of young people. regeringen_cmyk_72dpi
The seminar, as well as upcoming educational sessions for boy group leaders (23-25 April) and girl group leaders (8 May) will be held in Swedish.
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Round table seminar on equality in youth work

Interreg_logos_projeuOn the 8th of March 2010 the Åland Islands Peace Institute will arrange a round table seminar on gender equality and youth work, called Do boys also need gender equality? Challenging gender roles in youth work. the seminar is arranged within the interreg-project Challenging Gender Roles for Prevention of Trafficking and deals with such questions as gender aspect in youth work, do boys also need gender equality and why and how should we challenge gender roles?
Date and time: 8th of March, 14.30-16.30
Venue: Alandica, conference room No 203
The seminar is held in Swedish.