Two thirds of all work is the world is carried out by women and girls. Half of all food is produced by women and girls. But women earn only 10 per cent of the world's incomes and own 1 per cent of the world's assets. In Sweden, we want women and men to have the same ability to shape society and their own lives.
"We are not there yet, but we have come a long way. To a large extent, this is because we have created regulations and structures that make it easier to combine work with starting a family," says Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.
"The Government reaffirms its strong condemnation of Uganda's legislation, which violates the human rights of LGBT people. Swedish aid is not unconditional. The Government is therefore now choosing to suspend government-to-government payments still due under our current strategy for Uganda, with the exception of research cooperation," says Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström.
Bildt visits Ukraine
Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt is visiting Ukraine on 5-6 March, together with Denmark's new Minister for Foreign Affairs Martin Lidegaard.
The foreign ministers will visit the capital, Kiev, and eastern Ukraine. They are expected to meet Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, members of parliament and local representatives to discuss the situation in the country and how other countries and international actors can offer support and act in the circumstances.
New embassies in Baku and Yerevan
On Monday 3 March, Sweden is opening new permanent representations in Azerbaijan's capital city Baku and Armenia's capital city Yerevan following a decision taken by the Government in June 2013. The Swedish Foreign Service regularly reviews Swedish foreign representation and strategic decisions are taken concerning where in the world a Swedish presence can be of most use.
"Our presence in Baku and Yerevan enhances the conditions for Sweden to play an active role in the region and for Sweden to continue to be a driving force in the development of EU policy towards its eastern neighbourhood in Europe, the Eastern Partnership," says Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt.
Sweden's Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström strongly condemns the fact that Uganda is enacting new legislation that discriminates against homosexuals in the country. From a Swedish point of view, it is unacceptable to discriminate against people on the grounds of their sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs or skin colour.
"I want to emphasise that our aid is not given unconditionally. We continuously review our forms of cooperation with all our aid recipients, including Uganda. Uganda's decision to enact this legislation may, of course, affect the way in which we conduct development cooperation in the country," says Ms Engström.
There have been violent clashes between police and activists in several places in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, and unrest is also being reported in other Ukrainian cities. Swedes in Kiev are urged to avoid locations where clashes are taking place, as well as demonstrations and public gatherings, and to keep themselves informed of the situation via media reports. People who are planning to stay in Ukraine for some time are also urged to contact the Swedish Embassy. The Embassy continuously updates its website with information for Swedish citizens.
What will Sweden's foreign policy be in the year ahead and beyond? Today Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt will present this year's Statement of Government Policy on Foreign Affairs to the Riksdag. After he has spoken, the Riksdag will hold its major foreign policy debate. We will be twittering in English live from the presentation - follow us on @SweMFA.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildts visit to Iran continued on to the capital city of Tehran on Tuesday. Focus was primarily on his meeting with President Hassan Rouhani and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif. Their discussions mainly concerned the future steps in negotiations on the nuclear issue and the human rights situation in the country.
Minister for Trade Ewa Björling today presented the Government's 2013 Music Export Prize to Tim "Avicii" Bergling. This year's Special Prize for long-standing contributions to Swedish music went to the group ABBA. A new prize this year was the Commendation, which went to TEN Music Group.