The aim of the gender equality policy is, on the one hand, to combat and change systems that preserve the gender-based distribution of power and resources at societal level, and on the other, to create the conditions for women and men to enjoy the same power and opportunities to influence their own lives. When women and men share power and influence in all aspects of community life, we will have a fairer and more democratic society. Gender equality also contributes to economic growth by promoting people's skills and creativity.
In recent years, gender equality policy has been allocated considerable resources which has led to it developing, becoming more forceful and playing a more active role. Continuing efforts on gender equality mainstreaming, aimed at ensuring an impact for gender equality policy objectives throughout Government policy, are accompanied by the creation of greater opportunities for supplementary initiatives in other parts of the Government's policy.
Examples of such initiatives include the action plan to combat men's violence against women, the action plan against prostitution and human trafficking for sexual purposes, the research programme on women's health, an initiative on gender equality integration in municipal activities and the gender equality initiative in the field of education, approved by the Government in June 2008.
In June 2009 the Government presented a coherent strategy with regard to gender equality in the labour market and the business sector.
Gender equality is also a priority issue in international cooperation, which includes the Nordic countries, Europe and the rest of the world. The progress we have made has given us a strong position in international gender equality work, and interest in, and demand for our experience and solutions is considerable. The fund of confidence that Sweden commands internationally must be maintained, but also further developed.