KVINFO’s core task is communicating knowledge and research on gender, gender equality and diversity as well as contributing to the development of more equal societies, both locally and globally. Both tasks are very much a question of building bridges between people.
In 2012, KVINFO’s internationally renowned mentor network celebrates its tenth anniversary. The network matches women with an immigration and refugee background with women actively engaged in Danish society.
Within the first decade the network completes more than 3,200 mentor programmes, which open doors to the Danish labour market and pave the way for inclusion in Danish society. Most evaluations show that 61 per cent of mentees experience improved possibilities in starting or completing an education and 29 per cent experience improved possibilities in terms of securing paid work. The mentor network is accentuated as best practice both in Denmark and internationally, with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, OSCE, utilizing KVINFO’s model of mentor-coaching in Serbia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan and Macedonia.
KVINFO’s also utilizes the expertise gained from the mentor project internationally. In 2012, KVINFO’s Department for the Middle East and North Africa completes mentor programmes for female politicians in Jordan. And KVINFO also, in collaboration with the Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy (DIPD), founds new political mentor programmes for women in Bhutan, Malawi and Tanzania. At the same time, KVINFO, the European Women’s Lobby and the EU Parliament establishes a mentor programme to encourage more women with an immigrant background to run in the election for the EU Parliament in 2014.
Furthermore, in 2012, KVINFO joins the Europe-Mediterranean Human Rights Network, which includes more than 80 organizations from 30 countries in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
KVINFO is also a member of the European Institute for Gender Equality, EIGE, and focuses on gender and journalism in the institute’s Journalist Thematic Network.
At conferences, meetings and debates, KVINFO share the latest information and research on gender, gender equality and diversity with an audience of broad and varied interests.
In April 2012, KVINFO invites different organizations to participate in a conference in Copenhagen under the heading, Women in a Changing Middle East and North Africa – Facing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. The conference brings together several hundred activists, politicians, journalists and scholars from the Middle East, North Africa and Denmark and facilitates debates and dialogue on the advances and challenges facing gender equality within the region.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Villy Søvndal opens the conference and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2011, Tawakkul Karman from Yemen, is keynote speaker.
KVINFO’s Department for the Middle East and North Africa also arranges a conference on Feminism and Islamic Perspectives: New Horizons of Knowledge and Reform in Cairo, Egypt, in March 2012, where international scholars presents new and original papers on for example theological-political discussions on the positioning of women in society. The Egyptian organization Women and Memory Forum and The Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute (DEDI) are co-organizers.
Islam is also the pivotal subject at a public debate meeting held in Copenhagen in November. There are many ways of being Muslim among other things addresses the issue of Muslims’ views on homosexuality and forced marriages. Speakers are Ani Zonneveld (US), co-founder of Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV); Tehmina Kazi (UK), director of British Muslims for Secular Democracy (BMSD); and Shelina Janmohamad (UK), writer and vice president of Ogilvy North, the world’s first branding company developing global brands for Muslim consumers.
We Share Knowledge
KVINFO communicates information on gender, gender equality and diversity – in many different ways and with many different people.
In Denmark, KVINFO actively participates in contemporary debates on gender and gender equality. By way of example, KVINFO publishes journalistic themes on the web on how to tackle the challenges of female under-representation on boards and in management. Another theme sheds light on the current situation concerning gender and pensions: differences in the pensions of Danish women and men may have diminished during the financial crises, however, their economic standing as pensioners is still highly differentiated in terms of gender.
Prostitution and purchased sex is yet another theme highlighted. Political parties disagree on whether or not to legalize prostitution and criminalize sex customers. KVINFO provides readers with overall knowledge and opinions, both nationally and internationally.
KVINFO is obligated to provide information on the history of women, and 2012 sees the launch of an initiative to produce substantial material on the Danish Constitution from 1915 in which women were granted suffrage. The material is to be published online in 2013 as an introduction to the grand, national celebration in 2015.
Internationally, KVINFO shares knowledge on gender research and how to run a library with the university in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a. In collaboration with KVINFO, the university has opened Yemen’s first library for gender, development and research.
In Morocco, KVINFO subsidises the publishing of the book, Moroccan Women: Invisible Success Stories, which is published in English, French and Arabic. The author of the book is the Moroccan Professor of Communication, Nadia Lamhaidi, and it portrays 14 extraordinary Moroccan women, both professionally and privately.
We Focus on Men
Ever since KVINFO was established, the organization has also focused on men and masculinity. In 2012, KVINFO’s knowledge in this area actively supplies the growing Danish debate on gender equality for men.
There is no mistaking the symbolic value: in 2012, KVINFO changes its logo to emphasise the fact that KVINFO communicates knowledge on gender – in other words not only women. And KVINFO continues working with and sharing knowledge and research on men, masculinity and gender equality.
One initiative is debates on social control of young men with immigrant background as well as the positioning of fathers and their ability to care for their children following a divorce.
On the web, KVINFO publishes a theme containing the newest knowledge and research on men and gender equality, taking up subjects such as paternity leave, education and men in traditionally female jobs.
At the same time, KVINFO’s mentor programme gemmates with a specific project for young men with immigrant background between the ages of 16 and 24. This project also includes a newly developed format for e-mentoring.
We Convey History
KVINFO explores history in order to find inspiration and knowledge of use in present times.
On March 8th 2012, the International Women’s Day, KVINFO launches the extensive website Nordic History of Women’s Literature. The website is in Danish, Swedish and English, describing 800 Nordic writers through a thousand years.
Danish women’s road to Danish democracy and their active participation therein is also revealed in 2012 and provides inspiration for other women at the conference Women in Politics, arranged by the Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy (DIPD), in which women from five of the world’s continents participate, including a number of representatives from KVINFO’s collaborators in the Middle East and North Africa.
Abroad, KVINFO supports the Egyptian organization Women and Memory Forum among others. One of the organization’s projects is rewriting and retelling Egyptian folktales, positioning girls and women alongside boys and men. Women and Memory Forum is currently working on including women in the stories about the Arabic Spring in Egypt.
We Present Striking Profiles
During 2012, KVINFO welcomes a Nobel Prize Laureate, Danish ministers, foreign ambassadors and distinguished female artists both from Denmark and abroad.
"Women have to face the fact that they are in charge of securing their own rights. The future belongs to women and we can only go forward. Equal rights for men and women is the pillar on which to build the future."
These are the words of Tawakkul Karman from Yemen, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize 2011, delivering her keynote address at KVINFO’s conference on women and gender equality in the Middle East and North Africa in April 2012.
Karman is one of many striking personalities who visit KVINFO in 2012. Throughout the year, KVINFO welcomes international guests in a bid to strengthen dialogue and collaboration. Ambassadors from Iraq, Morocco and Taiwan visit KVINFO’s office in the heart of Copenhagen, as does the Palestinian representation in Denmark.
Danish ministers also visit KVINFO in 2012, including the Minister for Gender Equality, the Minister for Children and Education and the Minister for Development Cooperation who discuss new projects or receive information about KVINFO’s work and projects.
Throughout the year, KVINFO invites female artists to perform at public events. From Egypt, comes artist and cultural historian Huda Lufti who speaks on gender and street art in Cairo after the revolution.
Nothing short of a cornucopia of female Danish artists perform at KVINFO’s event on March 8th, including the writers Kirsten Hammann, Kirsten Thorup and Josefine Klougart who read excerpts from their work, as well as singer, songwriter and composer Anne Linnet who performs her musical renditions of poems by the famous Danish poet Tove Ditlevsen.
We Say No
In Denmark, the debate on gender sometimes evolves into threats and misrepresentation of facts. KVINFO utilizes our democratic institutions to oppose threats and to present facts.
In January 2012, KVINFO publishes a retrospective article on gender equality throughout the previous year. It includes a paragraph on Norwegian Anders Behring Brejvik who killed 77 people in Olso and at Utøya in the summer of 2011. The article mentions anti-feminism, which according to Norwegian media is a central issue for Breivik. Following the publication of the article, a debater on the liberal website 180grader.dk writes "we should do a complete Breivik on KVINFO." KVINFO reports the threat to the police and in the summer of 2012, the author is sentenced to serve time in prison.
In another case, KVINFO cites the Danish newspaper Berlingske to appear before the Danish Press Council, because twice in August 2012, the paper misquotes a feature article by KVINFO’s director, Elisabeth Møller Jensen and gender researcher Jytte Larsen. The Press Councils finds KVINFO’s complaint justified and "criticises Berlingske for not reproducing the quote correctly."
KVINFO’s Accounts 2012
In 2012, KVINFO’s revenue amounted to DKK 32.8 million. The operating grant from the Ministry of Culture amounts to DKK 6.769 million. The largest single grant other than this comes from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which finances KVINFO’s Department for the Middle East and North Africa. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration finances the mentor programme. A number of private funds support various other projects.
In 2012 KVINFO’s expenditure amounts to DKK 33.4 million. A little less than half covers wages.
In 2012 KVINFO used its resources thus:
13% Library and communication
56% Activities in the Middle East and North Africa
17% Mentor activities
14% General expenditure