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.
Feminist policy must make a difference in people’s daily lives and experiences
Since 21 January 2019, Sweden has a new feminist Government. “We will use our policies to build a society in which all people have equal value and equal rights, opportunities and responsibilities, and in which no one is limited by their gender,” say Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Lindhagen.
The Governments sub-targets for gender equality
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.
Gender-equality – central to the Swedish Government’s policy-making
Feminist policy for a gender-equal society
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven: "It is with strength and pride that I continue to lead the work of our feminist government. This work obliges all government ministers to contribute to the development and implementation of policy that gives women and men, girls and boys the same power to shape society and their own lives. This is how we build a stronger society and a safer Sweden. "
Vigorous efforts to combat violence
Minister for Gender Equality, with responsibility for anti-discrimination and anti-segregation Åsa Lindhagen: “All individuals should be safe in their own homes. I want to strengthen efforts to combat men’s violence against women and honour-related violence. Adults and children who are subjected to violence must receive support and help quickly. We also need to work on prevention, increase knowledge about honour-related violence and oppression, and ensure that people who use violence stop doing so.”
Feminist foreign policy
Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström: "The feminist foreign policy has had a major impact. We are seeing a number of countries and actors follow suit. We will now further develop and deepen this policy. This will involve initiatives for women’s economic rights, SRHR, and the peace, women and security agenda. Within all of these areas it is crucial to promote women’s and girls’ rights, representation and resources."
Gender equality contributes to economic development
Minister for Finance Magdalena Andersson: "Getting more women born abroad into work is important for the economy, but even more important for gender equality. No matter where you were born, you have the right to make the same journey towards self-determination through your own income, as many women did in Sweden in the 1950s, 60s and 70s."
Stronger gender-equality in the welfare sector
Minister for Health and Social Affairs Lena Hallengren: “Universal welfare has been and remains crucial for Sweden’s successful gender equality work. Our country must have medical care and elderly care that are of the absolute highest standard. A majority of those who work in the welfare sector are women and it is through their hard work that Sweden functions. These women – and men – must have a well-balanced working life so that they stay healthy up to and beyond pension age."
It is men who must change
Minister for Justice and Migration Morgan Johansson: “If men’s sexual harassment and sexual offences against women are to cease, it is men who must change. Last year, the most stringent legislation on sexual crime Sweden has ever had was introduced. Sweden now has a Consent Act, tougher penalties and better support for victims of crime. We also need more early measures to prevent violence, and we need to continue supporting women’s shelters and victim support groups.”
Half the power, full pay
Minister for Employment Ylva Johansson: “My goal is for women to have half the power and full pay. This requires change. During the last electoral period, the employment rate of women increased, especially among those born abroad. This is a step in the right direction. Full-time work should be the norm across the entire labour market, and parental responsibility must be divided equally. Sickness absence is higher for women than for men. A concerted effort is needed to improve women’s physical and psychosocial work environment.”
A toxin-free environment is an important gender equality issue
Minister for Environment and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lövin: “The environment and sustainability are gender equality issues. Around the world we see how girls and women in particular are being severely affected by the results of climate change. Yet women are under-represented in the forums in which decisions are taken that affect the climate and, ultimately, people’s everyday lives. Women of child-bearing age and children are also the groups that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of dangerous substances throughout the world. By protecting the most vulnerable groups, we create a good environment for everyone.
Gender inequality in society affects us our whole lives
Minister for Social Security Annika Strandhäll: “To break gender inequality we must take action from many directions simultaneously. We must achieve more gender-equal responsibility for children and family, a more gender-equal working life in which women are not over-represented in terms of ill health, and more gender-equal pay so that in the end pensions are also gender-equal. Everything is interlinked.”
Feminist trade policy
Minister for Foreign Trade, with responsibility for Nordic affairs Ann Linde: "Gender equality is not only right, it is also economically smart. When women and girls have equal access to the economy and the labour market, this also leads to more sustainable growth and development. This is why we have produced a tool for analysing trade agreements from a gender equality perspective. And this is why we are continuing efforts to break new ground for women and girls in the economic area. Discriminatory laws and stereotypes that prevent women’s economic participation must be combated."
Feminist development policy
Minister for International Development Cooperation Peter Eriksson: "Women and girls are still subjected to systematic discrimination and subjugation throughout the world. In recent years we have also seen setbacks in efforts for global gender equality and girls’ and women’s opportunities for empowerment and independence. Sweden’s feminist foreign and development policy works as a counterweight and is essential for countless women and girls. I am proud to represent Sweden’s feminist government and will devote my full energies to pursuing these issues."
Sweden must be the most gender-equal country in the world
Minister for Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth: "The transport sector must be more gender-equal. Pursuing gender equality efforts is not just the right thing to do, it is also a matter of survival for the entire sector. This involves creating the conditions for more women to discover the shipping, aviation, railway and road haulage industries. This is where people should want to apply, develop and remain. The sector has to increase the pace of this. I will not tire of reminding people of this. Sweden must be the most gender-equal country in the world."
Zero tolerance of sexual harassment applies to all
Minister for Higher Education and Research Matilda Ernkrans: “Me too has shed light on sexual harassment and abuses. There are far too many precarious jobs at universities and other higher education institutions, and research shows that this makes women particularly vulnerable. Too many women keep quiet about harassment so as not to jeopardise their own career or education. People must be able to speak up in academia so that irregularities are uncovered and immediate action is taken. Zero tolerance of sexual harassment must of course apply to both students and staff. I want to create safe higher education institutions in which women and men can work on equal terms and have the same opportunities to enjoy an academic career.”
Active gender equality efforts are a given in a modern central government administration
Minister for Public Administration Ardalan Shekarabi: "Central government must be an attractive and exemplary employer. The Government has set a number of interim targets for central government employers. These include increasing the number of women in leading positions and reducing wage gaps between women and men working in central government. The trends in both of these areas are positive. In terms of agency heads employed by the Government, the gender balance is stable, and women have been greater in number for a couple of years now."
Women’s lack of security is one of the biggest gender equality challenges of our time
Minister for Home Affairs Mikael Damberg: "For women and men to have the same power to shape society and their own lives, it is crucial that we all feel free to live exactly as we wish. Unfortunately this is not the situation today, when women are the ones who feel most unsafe and the proportion of women who say that they have been subjected to sexual crime is increasing. Putting an end to men’s violence against women and improving women’s safety is therefore absolutely crucial if we are to achieve the gender equality policy objectives. The way to achieve this involves more police employees and giving the police better and sharper tools in the form of effective and necessary legislation. We have begun work on this, but a great deal more will be needed during this electoral period."
Our democracy is founded on principles of equal rights for all
Minister for Culture and Democracy with responsibility for sport Amanda Lind: “Gender equality is a prerequisite for all people having equal rights and opportunities. The Me too movement showed that there is a long way to go until this is a reality. We have a great deal of work left to do to permanently break the culture of silence and to put an end to discrimination, sexual harassment and abuse. In Sweden, it shouldn’t matter who you are – you should have the opportunity to take part in our democracy, express your opinions and practice and experience culture and sport.”
State-owned companies are showing the way on gender equality
Minister for Enterprise Ibrahim Baylan: "Gender equality and sustainability are areas in which the Government has shown the way in its governance of state-owned companies. The portfolio of state-owned companies is currently perhaps one of the world’s most gender-equal in terms of make-up of governing boards. The issue of gender equality is important for a dynamic and successful business sector. I want to continue pushing for state-owned companies to make use of the skills of both women and men, as well as people with different backgrounds and experience."
Equal conditions throughout the country – for all
Minister for Rural Affairs Jennie Nilsson: "For me it is a given that the conditions for living and working throughout the country should be equal – regardless of sex or where in the country you live. Together we must improve gender equality in several sectors in my area of responsibility, strengthen welfare in rural areas and ensure that more people – not least women – are able to live and work in Sweden’s rural areas."
Equal rights and obligations
Minister for Defence Peter Hultqvist: "Gender equality is as much about equal rights as it is about equal obligations. The fact that the reactivated national total defence service is equal for both men and women is very positive. This is both right in itself, and leads to a better and stronger defence."
Education free from restrictive gender roles
Minister for Education Anna Ekström: “Everyone is entitled to education. Every individual should be able to shape their life without being held back by restrictive gender roles.”
A more gender-equal construction industry builds a better society
Minister for Financial Markets and Housing, Deputy Minister for Finance Per Bolund: “The construction industry needs to be more gender-equal. This is important not least to attract more young people, both men and women, to work in it.”
A gender-equal Europe for security and prosperity
Minister for EU Affairs Hans Dahlgren: “We are working for a Europe in which women’s place in the labour market is self-evident and in which the terms of employment are gender-equal and create security and prosperity for normal people. Where fairness, growth and cohesion go hand in hand.”
More women on our IT education programmes
Minister for Energy and Digital Development Anders Ygeman:"Sweden is a successful country within digitalisation, but to retain our position we need more digital specialists. An important part of achieving this is working to ensure that more women choose to study on IT education programmes. We need to highlight the women role models working in this area today, and we need more of them. Everyone’s skills are needed for Sweden to be best in the world at using the opportunities of digitalisation. "
- 1 Minister for Gender Equality to highlight Consent Act at summit on girls’ and women’s rights
- 2 Handbook on Sweden’s feminist foreign policy launched
- 3 Consent – the basic requirement of new sexual offence legislation
- 4 Sweden best in the EU on gender equality
- 5 Gender equality policy in Sweden
- 6 Gender-responsive budgeting
Content about A Feminist Government
Total 188 hits.
Consent – the basic requirement of new sexual offences legislation
Fact sheet: The Government is proposing the introduction of new legislation regarding sexual consent that states the obvious: if sex is not voluntary it is illegal.
Joining forces to strengthen global gender equality efforts
More than 700 gender equality advocates from more than 100 countries gathered at the Stockholm Forum on Gender Equality to exchange experiences and mobilise efforts for global gender equality. The participants included key figures from civil society organisations, business, academia and politics. They all have the same goal: a gender-equal world.
Fact sheet: Action plan to combat prostitution and trafficking in human beings
The action plan to combat prostitution and trafficking in human beings can be seen as part of broader efforts to prevent and combat men’s violence against women.
Stockholm Forum on Gender Equality to bring together top names from more than 100 countries
Award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner and human rights counsellor Colin Gonsalves are some of the 500 gender equality actors who will participate in the Stockholm Forum on Gender Equality on 15–17 April. The global forum is about strengthening women’s and girls’ rights, representation and access to resources.
Nordic gender equality ministers acted jointly at the UN Commission on the Status of Women session
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’. The Swedish Government was represented by Pernilla Baralt, former Sweden’s State Secretary for Gender Equality and Deputy Chair of the Nordic Council of Ministers for Gender Equality. With three Nordic gender equality ministers, Ms Baralt co-hosted a Nordic ministerial panel on the bodily integrity of women and women’s sexual and reproductive rights. Sweden and France also hosted a side event on women’s representation in politics.
Speech by State Secretary Pernilla Baralt at Commission on the Status of Women 2018
The General Assembly of the United Nations, New York, 14 mars 2018 Check against delivery.
WikiGap increases gender equality on the internet
The whole world helped to fill Wikipedia with articles on prominent women on International Women's Day. The WikiGap campaign has already been established in over fifty countries, and the hope is that it will be long-lasting.
Åsa Regnér appointed as Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women
UN Secretary-General António Guterres today appointed Åsa Regnér as Deputy Executive Director of UN Women with responsibility for intergovernmental relations and strategic partnerships, as well as Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven to open an international high-level conference on violence against children
The Swedish Government is hosting the high-level conference Agenda 2030 for Children, End Violence Solutions Summit in Stockholm on 14–15 February 2018. The participants include Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, HM Queen Silvia and UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed. The co-organisers of the conference are the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children and WePROTECT Global Alliance.
The new Swedish Gender Equality Agency inaugurated in Gothenburg
On 12 January, the new Swedish Gender Equality Agency was inaugurated in Gothenburg, with speeches by Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Regnér, Director-General Lena Ag, County Governor Anders Danielsson and chair of the municipal executive board, Ann-Sofie Hermansson. The Agency will contribute to strategic, coherent and sustainable governance and effective implementation of gender equality policy.