In 2009 the Peace Institute established a contact with the Karelian Center for Gender Studies in Petrozavodsk, Russia. The purpose of the cooperation was to share the experiences of promoting gender equality and the various methods that can be used for combating gender-based violence, including sexual slavery. The project was funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.
Representatives of the partner organizations met both in Petrozavodsk and on the Åland Islands in order to study the local efforts and community initiatives related to prevention of gender-based violence, promotion of gender equality and different activities targeting young people. The Peace Institute’s partners from Lithuania, Belarus and the Kaliningrad region also had a chance to take part in the network meetings and contributed with their own experiences. Besides, the meeting programme included presentations on the situation of women, gender debate and the development of gender as well as family policies in different countries, including Åland and Finland. During the final conference on the Åland Islands, the Karelian Centre for Gender Studies presented the results of a study on how media in Lithuania, Belarus and Russia reports on questions related to gender equality, trafficking and gender based violence.
The cooperation with the Karelian Center for Gender Studies continues under the ongoing project “Overcoming Gender Disparities as a Tool for Social Change”.