About Maria

Maria Hagberg

Apart from extensive experience in qualified social work with children and young people, I have also worked as a project leader for the County Administrative Board’s project on Sheltered housing in honour-related violence. For several years I worked as an educator and supervisor on the National Board of Health and Welfare’s project Children’s needs at the centre (BBiC), that was an international collaboration with England.

Within my profession I have organised and taken part in trainings to increase knowledge about men's violence to women, for the social authorities, the public prosecutor, the police, medical care and women’s shelters in Skåne. I have also participated in the police’s education series in Skåne, in collaboration with Växjö University and the National Swedish Police Board, and in education within the police force focusing on the child’s perspective in dealing with violence in the family.

I have also lectured on honour-related violence in countries such as Egypt and France. Moreover, I have lectured on feminism in France, Poland and Denmark. I have taken part in parliamentary hearings in Sweden and at international conferences on honour-related violence and women’s rights to their sexuality plus several NGO conventions in the EU parliament, including on trafficking. I now conduct my international work through NGO exchanges with Iraqi Kurdistan and I have also been on the European council (2008) and reported on honour-related violence in Sweden, and produced a presentation about religion and women's rights at the NGO meetings in connection with the UN's Women’s committee meetings in New York (2009). In autumn 2008 I lectured in the Parisian suburbs on forced marriages at the invitation of the Observatory against violence against women in Paris.

I am a member of SAMLA (board member equivalent) for National Women for Peace, a member of the coordination group in FE-EFI (based in Paris)’s European Feminist Initiative, member of the executive body of GADIP (gender and development in practice), Global Gender Studies at Gothenburg University and a member of WAFE (based in London)’s international women’s organisation. Furthermore, I am one of two chair people in the Network against honour-related violence www.minheder.nu. Finally I am a member and expert in Operation 1325’s Iraq group and am involved in Women for Peace in SIDA’s Reference group on equality policy.

Apart from this, I am a public debater and author and have written a number of articles on women's situations and on international solidarity (see socialtoolbox.se). In February 2009 I published my book “At 20 it starts to rot” about young women in Sweden who had been subjected to honour-related violence and oppression. The book was published with support from AGORA/Premiss publishers and the Olof Palme Memorial Fund. I give lectures to authorities, universities and to the voluntary sector. I also educate and guide various personnel in social work, especially in issues about honour-related violence, both within and outside Sweden.