The Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Svante Kilander, on Tuesday, November 3, took the stage at the increasingly popular AUN Diplomatic Lecture Series, explaining Sweden’s feminist foreign policy.
Speaking at a crowded Robert Pastor Library auditorium, Ambassador Kilander said Sweden is committed to combating gender discrimination nationally and internationally, urging Nigeria to include anti-sexual violence measures in her fight against terrorism.
“It is very important that while combating terrorism, measures against sexual violence must be included.”
Ambassador Kilander also highlighted the importance of involving women in crucial missions such as sustainable peace-building efforts.
“Early investments in inclusive peace-building processes that empower women lay a stronger foundation for reconciliation, which in turn contributes to reducing the risk of relapse,”he said.
According to the envoy, Sweden’s feminist policies are rooted
in the United Nations Resolution 1325, which advocates gender equality, adding that his country is the biggest donor to the UN action against sexual violence.
Kilander noted that Sweden, which is about half the size of Nigeria, implemented the world’s first feminist government in 2014, and now has an increasingly equitable male-female minister ratio, including a female finance minister.
In a chat with the CMD Website after the speech, President of AUN Women Leadership Council, a student pressure group, Blessing Douglas, said the envoy’s visit was a step in the right direction for feminism in Nigeria.
“It is time for us to move beyond the mediocre state and start embracing what is good about other countries and try to put it into action,”Ms Douglas said.
Ambassador Kilander, who holds a master’s degree in Arts in Modern History and Chinese and a Master of Laws, LL.M, became Sweden’s Ambassador to Nigeria in 2012. He previously served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Stockholm from 2011 to 2012. He joined the Swedish Foreign service in 1981 and has since served in various capacities in Romania, Indonesia, Vietnam, Afghanistan, China, and North Korea.
By Zamiyat Abubakar