Swedish Government to establish gender equality agency
In its Budget Bill, the Swedish Government states its intention to establish a gender equality agency. The agency will help ensure effective implementation of gender equality policy. Before the end of the year, the Government will also present a new national strategy, including an action plan for 2017–2020, to prevent and combat men’s violence against women. Some of the initiatives in the strategy are the result of negotiations with the Left Party.
"The Government's feminist policy must have a clear impact and make a difference to people's lives. Several inquiries have concluded that the organisation of gender equality policy is fragmented and inadequate. A gender equality agency is needed to guarantee that political priorities gain traction, so that work towards a gender-equal society can be more strategic and effective. It is crucial to develop gender equality efforts as we modernise the Swedish model," says Sweden's Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality, Åsa Regnér.
In the Budget Bill, the Government states its intention to establish a gender equality agency, to be operational from the beginning of 2018. The need for such an agency was one important conclusion of the Gender Equality Inquiry, which presented its final report to Ms Regnér in October 2015. The Swedish National Audit Office report also deems that there is a need for an institutional structure that strengthens gender equality work and helps ensure a long-term approach and sustainability.
For the Government to ensure that gender equality policy priorities are reflected in governance of agencies and activities, a permanent structure at national level is needed. The precise details of its organisation, responsibilities, and interfaces and cooperation with existing structures will be prepared by an organising committee.
The gender equality agency's work will be based on the overarching gender equality policy objective that women and men must have the same power to shape society and their own lives, and the Government's associated sub-objectives.
The Left Party supports the proposal and has been keen to establish a gender equality agency.
National strategy to combat men's violence against women
Before the end of the year, the Government will present a new national strategy to combat men's violence against women in the Government Communication on gender equality policy.
Continued measures to combat men's violence against women are a gender equality policy priority for the Government. It is now particularly important to develop violence prevention measures. Efforts need to reach all groups in society and be developed in a variety of arenas. Overall, measures in this area will amount to more than SEK 900 million for the period 2017–2020.
The Budget Bill for 2017 is based on an agreement between the Government and the Left Party.