Ujuni Ahmed urges people to talk about their problems – political silence only increases the inequalities that minorities face

Ujuni Ahmed is a sought-after expert, Chairperson of the Crisis Response Association, a new mother and an acclaimed author whose work “Tytöille, jotka ajattelevat olevansa yksin” (“For Girls Who Think They Are Alone”) premiered at the Finnish National Theatre in the autumn of 2023. She came to Finland from Somalia with her family in the early 1990s, when the need for the integration of immigrants had not yet been recognized. According to Ahmed, this has led to many of the problems that we face today.

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Tarja Halonen: Girls in conflict-affected countries need our special attention

President Halonen is an unwavering defender of the welfare society – and for many reasons. The measures employed by the Nordic countries to promote gender equality could also have helped countries in crisis situations. “Empowerment of women and girls also protects them in times of crises. But any shortcomings should be addressed before it’s too late. Very few countries can launch action to improve the situation of the most vulnerable people while in a crisis.”

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Gender equality should be at the core of peacemaking

Peace goes hand in hand with equality: societies with higher gender equality tend to be more peaceful, while peaceful societies are better at making gains in gender equality. Gender equality also matters for how peace is made. The conditions for sustainable peace and post-war recovery are built simultaneously at political, community and personal levels. Therefore, both men and women should be able to take part in every step of the peace process, from pre-negotiation consultations to concrete actions taken after the shaking of hands.

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