Svenska kyrkan

Press conference during the Swedish Forum for Human Rights: The battle for the sexual and reproductive rights of young people


In Tanzania, the Church of Sweden’s local representative, Josephine Sundqvist, works with local efforts against female genital mutilation and for the right of all people to make their own decisions about their bodies. Meet her and courageous partners from Tanzania at a press conference prior to the seminar My Body – My Right at the Swedish Forum for Human Rights.

The press conference will emphasise the important role played by religious actors in the sexual and reproductive rights of young people. Attendees will include European Parliamentarian Linnéa Engström, development cooperation researcher Josephine Sundqvist, and representatives of the Church of Sweden’s partner organisations in Tanzania.

Time and place of the press conference: 
Friday 10 November at 1:30-2:20 PM in the the Swedish Forum for Human Rights press room, room K15 in Kongresshuset. After brief remarks by the participants, there will be an opportunity to ask questions in a joint forum and then time for individual interviews as required. Moderator: Josephine Sundqvist (see below).

Apply to participate in the press conference: 
E-mail your name, editorial office and contact details to Press Secretary Ewa Almqvist at by no later than Thursday 9 November at 3 PM.

The press conference will be held immediately prior to Friday’s seminar My Body – My Right on religious norms, dogmas, religious actors and what Sweden can do in the global battle for the sexual and reproductive rights of young people*. Two of the Church of Sweden’s partner organisations in Tanzania will participate along with researchers, decision-makers and policy experts in global health and SRHR.

The seminar My Body – My Right starts at 2:30 PM.
Location: The Swedish Forum for Human Rights in Jönköping, Elmia Conference room 12.
Panel participants:
Paul Mmbando, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.
Lennart Hjelmåker, Swedish ambassador for global health and former ambassador to Tanzania.
Linnéa Engström, a member of the European Parliament.
Gloria Mafole, Christian Council of Tanzania.
Susanne Strömdal, researcher in global health at the Karolinska Institutet.
Moderator: Josephine Sundqvist**, the Church of Sweden’s regional representative in East Africa. She also conducts research on globalisation, religion and welfare in Tanzania (see below).


* Sexual and reproductive rights are part of human rights, and include the right to make your own decisions about your body. Lack of knowledge, discrimination and oppression are limiting the realisation of sexual and reproductive rights. These rights are often strongly impacted by religious norms and traditions, which have often had a negative impact on attitudes in society and on young people and other vulnerable groups.

** Josephine Sundqvist, from Jönköping, has a background as a development cooperation researcher and has worked with development cooperation in Asia and Africa, and as a process manager for the United Nations, government agencies and civil society. In recent years, she has conducted research on religion and development cooperation, and the role of religious actors in the healthcare sector in Tanzania. On 24 November, she will defend her doctoral thesis “Beyond an instrumental approach to religion and development – Challenges for church-based healthcare in Tanzania” at Uppsala University.




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