The Swedish Government.
Photo: Ninni Andersson/ The Government Offices

A Feminist Government

Sweden has the first feminist government in the world. This means that gender equality is central to the Government’s priorities – in decision-making and resource allocation. A feminist government ensures that a gender equality perspective is brought into policy-making on a broad front, both nationally and internationally. Women and men must have the same power to shape society and their own lives. This is a human right and a matter of democracy and justice. Gender equality is also part of the solution to society’s challenges and a matter of course in a modern welfare state – for justice and economic development. The Government’s most important tool for implementing feminist policy is gender mainstreaming, of which gender-responsive budgeting is an important component.

  • The Governments sub-targets for gender equality

    • Sub-target 1: Equal division of power and influence

      Illustration: Annika Carlsson

    • Sub-target 2: Financial gender equality

      Illustration: Annika Carlsson

    • Sub-target 3: Gender-equitable education

      Illustration: Annika Carlsson

    • Sub-target 4: An even division of unpaid housework and care work

      Illustration: Annika Carlsson

    • Sub-target 5: Gender-equal health

      Illustration: Annika Carlsson

    • Sub-target 6: Men’s violence against women must end

      Illustration: Annika Carlsson

    The Governments overarching goal of the gender equality policy is that women and men are to have the same power to shape society and their own lives. Starting from this objective, the Government is working towards six sub-goals.

Feminist government policy – a good investment for Sweden and the world

  • Gender equality part of the solution to challenges in society

    Prime Minister Stefan Löfven
    Prime Minister Stefan Löfven Photo: Kristian Pohl/Government Offices

    “The world’s first feminist government is now implementing a policy to increase gender equality”, the Prime Minister established in the Statement of Government Policy.

Feminist policy

  • Lena Hallengren, Minister for Gender Equality, and Shanga Aziz, founder and president of Locker Room Talk.
    Lena Hallengren, Minister for Gender Equality, and Shanga Aziz, founder and president of Locker Room Talk. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/Regeringskansliet

    1. International conference in Stockholm on men and gender equality

    On 15–16 May, Sweden and Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality Lena Hallengren hosted the 4th International Conference on Men and Equal Opportunities (ICMEO) in Stockholm. Among the 300 participants were several European gender equality ministers, researchers and representatives of government agencies and civil society. The role and responsibility of men and boys in gender equality efforts was in focus, as well as how we change social norms that have negative effects.

  • Mia Odabas, Moderator, Margot Wallström, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Isabella Lövin, Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, Ann Linde, Minister for EU Affairs and Trade and Annika Rembe, Director-General Swedish Institute.
    Mia Odabas, Moderator, Margot Wallström, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Isabella Lövin, Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, Ann Linde, Minister for EU Affairs and Trade and Annika Rembe, Director-General Swedish Institute. Lena Hallengren, Minister for Gender Equality, participated also at the Conference. Photo:Moa Haeggblom/Swedish Government Offices

    2. Sweden hosted Stockholm Forum on Gender Equality

    The Stockholm Forum on Gender Equality on 15–17 April brought together over 500 participants from more than 100 countries, from grassroots to ministerial level. They included politicians and representatives of academia, business and civil society. The purpose of the Forum was to advance work on global gender equality through alliance-building and exchange of methods and results.

  • Swedens ambassador to the UN, Olof Skoog, former state secretary Pernilla Baralt and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women.
    Swedens ambassador to the UN, Olof Skoog, former State Secretary Pernilla Baralt and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women. Photo: Pontus Höök/Nordic Council of Ministers

    3. Nordic gender equality ministers acted jointly at CSW62 in New York

    On 12–24 March, the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This year’s theme was ‘Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls’. Sweden co-hosted a Nordic ministerial panel on the bodily integrity of women and women’s sexual and reproductive rights. and hosted also a side event with France on women’s representation in politics.

  • Lena Hallengren, Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality.
    Lena Hallengren, Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality. Photo: Ninni Andersson/Government Offices

    4. Lena Hallengren new Minister for Gender Equality

    On international women's day Lena Hallengren was appointed as new Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality. Ms Hallengren was Deputy Minister for Education, with responsibility for preschools, youth issues and adult learning, in 2002–2006.

  • Lena Ag, Director-General of the Swedish Gender Equality Agency, and Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Regnér
    Lena Ag, Director-General of the Swedish Gender Equality Agency, and former Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Regnér. Photo: Jöran Fagerlund/The Swedish Gender Equality Agency

    5. The new Swedish Gender Equality Agency inaugurated in Gothenburg

    Sweden has established a new Gender Equality Agency. The Agency will contribute to strategic, coherent and sustainable governance and effective implementation of gender equality policy.

  • Minister for Employment Ylva Johansson and Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Regnér had a meeting with the social partners.
    Minister for Employment Ylva Johansson and former Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Regnér in meeting with the labour market and union partners. Photo: Ninni Andersson/Government Offices of Sweden

    6. The Government takes action against sexual violence and harassment

    The #metoo movement in Sweden strongly demonstrates that more needs to be done to combat sexual harassment and sexual violence in the workplace and society at large.The Swedish Government requires all employers to take responsibility for a secure work environment. Read about the implemented and forthcoming measures.

  • Photo: Laila Östlund/The University of Gothenburg

    7. Ministerial conference on how gender equality can contribute to fair jobs and growth

    Former Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Regnér hosted a conference on how gender equality can contribute to fair jobs and growth on 8 November in Gothenburg. Gender equality ministers from the upcoming EU presidencies took part and discussed gender equality in relation to the labour market and overall progress in the area of gender equality in the EU based on the Gender Equality Index of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE).

  • 8. Consent – the basic requirement of new sexual offence legislation

    The Government has presented a bill to the Riksdag containing a proposal concerning new sexual offence legislation that is based on consent. Sex must be voluntary – if it is not, then it is illegal. The Swedish Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority has been tasked with informing young people about the new legislation. The Riksdag voted in favour of the Government's proposal. The amendments will come into force on 1 July 2018.

  • Photo: EIGE

    9. Sweden best in the EU on gender equality

    Sweden tops the EU Gender Equality Index in 2017, ahead of Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands. This news was presented today in Brussels at a conference organised by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE).

  • 10. Sweden's feminist foreign policy – examples from three years of implementation

    Sweden is the first country in the world to pursue a feminist foreign policy. The Ministry is now presenting collected examples of how the policy has been pursued and what it has accomplished, both internationally and at country level.

  • Minister for Justice Morgan Johansson, Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Regnér and Minister for Education Gustaf Fridolin at the press conference where the Government presented the feminist policy for a gender-equal future.
    Minister for Justice Morgan Johansson, Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Regnér and Minister for Education Gustaf Fridolin at the press conference where the Government presented the feminist policy for a gender-equal future. Photo: Government Offices of Sweden

    11. Swedish Government presents feminist policy for a gender-equal future

    The Swedish Government has presented a gender quality policy communication entitled Power, goals and authority – a feminist policy for a gender-equal future, including a ten-year National strategy to prevent and combat men’s violence against women. As one of the measures in the strategy, the Government intends to amend the degree descriptions in the Higher Education Ordinance for educational programmes where it is most necessary and where students will encounter perpetrators and victims of violence in their future careers.

  • Photo of Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality, Åsa Regnér, and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström.
    Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality, Åsa Regnér, and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström. Photo: Kristian Pohl/Government Offices of Sweden

    12. Gender equality policy in Sweden

    Sweden has the world's first feminist government. In practice, this means a commitment to building a society in which women and men, girls and boys can live their lives to their full potential. Gender equality is a matter of human rights, of democracy and of justice. It is also an engine driving social development and creating genuine change in society and in people's lives.

  • Foto: Kristian Pohl/Regeringskansliet

    13. 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.

  • Magdalena Andersson
    Magdalena Andersson Photo: Kristian Pohl, Government Offices of Sweden

    14. Gender-responsive budgeting

    Sweden has a feminist government that is working to achieve gender equality at all levels of society. Gender equality in the budget process is of central importance in realising feminist policies. As far as possible, the budget is to promote gender equality so that all people, regardless of gender, can live a gender-equal life.

  • Picture of Per-Anders Sunesson, Sweden´s new ambassador to combat trafficking in human beings.
    Per-Anders Sunesson, Sweden´s new ambassador to combat trafficking in human beings. Photo: Mats Bäckelin/Government Offices

    15. Swedish ambassador to combat trafficking in human beings

    The Government has decided to create a new position for an ambassador to combat trafficking in human beings. This decision will strengthen Sweden’s international role as a leading human rights defender. Per-Anders Sunesson, currently head of department at the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, will assume this new position on 16 May.

  • Minister for Social Security Annika Strandhäll and parents.
    Minister for Social Security Annika Strandhäll and parents. Photo: Mikael Sjöberg

    16. A review of parental insurance

    An Inquiry will conduct a review of the rules for parental leave and parental insurance. The purpose is to identify problems and propose measures so that parental insurance can contribute to a greater extent to gender equality in the labour market and gender-equal parenting and can keep contributing to good conditions for children to grow up in.

  • Margot Wallström with mediators.
    Margot Wallström with mediators. Photo: Jessica Garpvall/Government Offices of Sweden

    17. Women’s participation helps ensure that peace is more sustainable

    Fifteen years ago, 31 October 2000, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. But far too often, women are still excluded, which poses a threat to peace and security and sustainable development in several parts of the world. Sweden is therefore working actively to promote the agenda for women, peace and security.

  1. 1 International conference in Stockholm on men and gender equality
  2. 2 Sweden hosted Stockholm Forum on Gender Equality
  3. 3 Nordic gender equality ministers acted jointly at CSW62 in New York
  4. 4 Lena Hallengren new Minister for Gender Equality
  5. 5 The new Swedish Gender Equality Agency inaugurated in Gothenburg
  6. 6 The Government takes action against sexual violence and harassment
  7. 7 Ministerial conference on how gender equality can contribute to fair jobs and growth
  8. 8 Consent – the basic requirement of new sexual offence legislation
  9. 9 Sweden best in the EU on gender equality
  10. 10 Sweden's feminist foreign policy – examples from three years of implementation
  11. 11 Swedish Government presents feminist policy for a gender-equal future
  12. 12 Gender equality policy in Sweden
  13. 13 Swedish Government to establish gender equality agency
  14. 14 Gender-responsive budgeting
  15. 15 Swedish ambassador to combat trafficking in human beings
  16. 16 A review of parental insurance
  17. 17 Women’s participation helps ensure that peace is more sustainable

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