The first scholarship holders ready to contribute to the work with women, peace and security in the spirit of Zaida Catalán

A year ago, FBA was tasked by the Swedish Government to establish a scholarship in memory of Zaida Catalán, who previously was seconded from FBA to international peace operations in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Palestine. Now, the first scholarship holders are eager to start working for their host organizations.

Zaida Catalán was brutally murdered on 12 March 2017 in the Congolese province Kasaï, during a UN mission where she and her colleague Michael Sharp investigated human rights crimes.

The scholarship gives young peacebuilders an opportunity to improve their knowledge about women, peace and security and at the same time contribute to the work.

Zaida’s mother Maria Morseby and sister Elizabeth Catalán Morseby are grateful that Zaida’s work as an expert in human rights and gender equality can continue, as the scholarship allows young visionary peacebuilders to carry on her mission and build on her legacy.

– In the end, and all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. Possibly, this scholarship will empower those courageous individuals to follow this dream. Let truth and love guide our way to a better future!

The first scholarship holders have been selected and are based at their host organizations in DRC and Palestine. In the coming year, Nathalie Ndimubanzi will be part of Kvinna till Kvinnas team in eastern DRC and Fatmeh Hammad will assist in the work of The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH) in Palestine.

– I am happy and proud that Sweden makes use of the precious commitment of young peacebuilders to increase women’s participation in conflict resolution. It feels natural that the first scholarship holders originate from DRC and Palestine where Zaida was on secondments from FBA, says FBA’s Director General Sven-Eric Söder who look forward to following their journey and achievements.

Equality between women and men is a corner-stone in Sweden’s feminist foreign policy and fundamental to achieve peace, security and development in the world.

– Zaida’s commitment, courage and determination is an inspiration to all of us. I hope that the selected  scholarship holders will be equipped with tools so they can continue strengthening women’s and girl’s fundamental human rights and contribute to change, says Minister for International Development Cooperation Per Olsson Fridh.

FBA is Sweden’s expert agency for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 adopted in 2000. Together with subsequent resolutions, it constitutes the agenda for women, peace and security. The agenda states that the inclusion of women in the prevention, management and solution of conflicts is crucial for sustainable peace and security. The resolutions also highlight the need to improve the protection of women and girls against violence and the consequences of conflicts. 

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