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Kurdish women in Sweden awarded as they lead the way in public life

By Rudaw 27/12/2016
Kurdish Swedish MP, Amineh Kakabaveh, was named ‘Swede of the year’ by Fokus Magazine. Photo: Amineh Kakabaveh/Facebook
Kurdish Swedish MP, Amineh Kakabaveh, was named ‘Swede of the year’ by Fokus Magazine. Photo: Amineh Kakabaveh/Facebook

STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Kurdish women in Sweden play a leading role in public life in that country and many have received awards in 2016 in recognition of their work.

“Kurdish women have a potential which turns them into innovators and leaders when they join European communities,” said Agnita Swanson, a Swedish activist, referring to Nadia Murad and other Kurdish women who were recognized with numerous awards in Sweden this year. “I am amazed by the ability of Kurdish women,” Swanson added. 

Annually, a plethora of awards are given out to persons of the year and other outstanding citizens who have had a profound impact on European society, especially in Sweden. 

In 2016, over four Kurdish women were picked as ‘persons of the year’ in Sweden alone. “This is one of the advantages of the Kurdish diaspora to the Swedish communities. As a Swede, I am indebted to this nation and I am proud of them,” Swanson detailed. 

The Kurdish Swedish MP, Amineh Kakabaveh, was picked by Fokus Magazine as the ‘Swede of the year’ this year. She is credited for her role in the country’s endeavors to counter racial discrimination. 

Kurdish activist and volunteer Tina Murad was chosen from over 120 contenders by Sweden’s leading human rights organization, Raoul Wallenberg Institute, for its annual award. She was given credit for her outstanding voluntary service to refugees. 

Two other Kurdish women, Sakine Madon, a journalist and activist, and Sarah Mohammed, an activist, have been selected along with 48 other Swedes by the Swedish National Radio as persons of the year. The radio names 50 Swedes from across the social spectrum every year for the award. 

A number of Kurds were also included among 100 people nominated for ‘influential people of the year’. Two Kurdish women are among the nominees – writer and artist Nisti Sterk and Gulan Avci, a member of the leadership of the Liberal Party of Sweden. The result will be announced in the last week of 2016. 

The influence of Kurdish women living in Sweden has gone beyond the country’s borders. Journalist and Swedish citizen Angel Alcu, a Kurd from Diyarbakir, was given the Martin Adler award on December 8, 2016 in London. The award seeks to honour freelance journalists who often work under difficult circumstances and receive little recognition. 

In addition, the Kurdish Yazidi women Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar who survived the savage rule of the Islamic State (ISIS) were given Sakharov award this year for their human rights work.

“There are very few nations and ethnicities that could produce so many influential personalities in one year,” Swanson explained. 

“If you quickly browse the Swedish Google search, it will come up with names of tens of [Kurdish] brave and active women with impressive ideas and projects,” Swanson said. 

Kurdish women in Sweden play a significant role in public life in the country.

In Sweden, Kurdish women appear to be more interested in politics than men. They occupy high positions within Swedish political and government departments. 

According to a recent Swedish survey, there is a declining interest in politics among the youth, but increasing interest among women. Kurdish women, especially those born in 1970s, take the most interest in politics. 

“Having four Kurdish women in the parliament and tens of other Kurdish women in the regional and provincial councils shows how actively Kurdish women are involved in politics,” Swanson said. 

According to a report by KYEO, a Kurdish organization in Sweden, there are 116 Kurdish women occupying positions in different Swedish government departments and 18 more high up within the leadership of different Swedish political parties. Moreover, there are four Kurdish MPs in the Swedish parliament, and 97 others in high positions with human rights organizations. 

There are also 11 very well-known Kurdish women journalists in Sweden. The report also mentioned that 131 Kurdish women have been awarded by different Swedish bodies over the past 10 years for their outstanding influential role in the country. 


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Hersh | 27/12/2016
Unfortunately Kurdish woman(and men) are a valuable resource not being utilized back home, you can argue that the horrible Turkish and Iranian regimes don't allow Kurds to blossom (and that's true) but what's the excuse in Basur? we've had 25 years shouldn't we have come further by now?. How do we explain how all these Kurdish woman go on to do such remarkable things in free societies but rarely back home?. We're wasting all this valuable human resource because of a backward religion and a backward culture that's infatuated with watching backward Arabic and Turkish culture on their TV's and imitating them.
Rojhelati | 27/12/2016
Good for her, kurds stay away from Islam. I hate kurds who still call them self muslims when they move outside of middleeast. if your a muslim then stay there.
iran bad | 27/12/2016
down with iranian regime and islam. there is no diffrence betweetn shia and sunni, they are both savages.
Kurdistan | 27/12/2016
@Rojhelati you hate Muslim Kurds and want that just Muslim Kurds stay in Kurdistan? I love all people for Allah. May All bring stability and peace to Kurdistan like we had under the Islamic Kurdish Ayubi dynasty wgere all people were safe.
Rojhelati | 28/12/2016
@Kurdistan: This is muslim logic, they vote for sharia and run for kafir state (EU and US). You are not a KURD, stop lying. Islam is not for kurds, period. Kalb Mohammed was a pedofile.

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