Åsa Lindhagen has changed areas of responsibility. From 5 February 2021 she is the Minister for Financial Markets and Consumer Affairs. 

Minister for Gender Equality, with responsibility for anti-discrimination and anti-segregation.

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Press release from Ministry of Employment

Government strengthens work for the equal rights and opportunities of LGBTIQ people

Published

The Government has adopted an action plan for equal rights and opportunities for LGBTIQ people. The action plan contains concrete measures to strengthen the rights and opportunities of LGBTIQ people in the coming years. The action plan applies until 2023 but also contains strategic initiatives to ensure that the efforts continue in the long-term.

“LGBTIQ people still experience discrimination and serious violations in all areas of life: at work, at school, in business, in contact with government agencies and in other public activities. This is unacceptable and we are therefore focusing on creating real and lasting change,” says Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Lindhagen.

In Sweden, the equal rights of LGBTIQ people have been strengthened through various reforms in recent decades. These reforms have contributed to increased openness in society. However, challenges remain. Many LGBTIQ people still feel unable to be open about their sexual orientation or identity at work and at school. In general, young LGBTIQ people, not least young transgender people, have poorer mental health than the rest of the population.

Through the action plan, the Government is taking further steps to strengthen the equal rights and opportunities of LGBTIQ people. The action plan includes measures in a number of focus areas that, among other things, aim to combat discrimination, violence and other violations, increase knowledge in working life and about the situation and mental health of young LGBTIQ people, and particularly focus on suicide prevention efforts. The intersex perspective is also included and measures are being taken to increase knowledge about the situation and needs of intersex people, both in healthcare and in society at large.

Young LGBTIQ people are more vulnerable at school than anywhere else in society. Work is now being intensified to provide a safer school environment for young LGBTIQ people. The National Agency for Education and the Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society are to continue their work on equal rights and a more inclusive school environment for young LGBTIQ people. As part of this work, the Ombudsman for Children in Sweden is being instructed to investigate the needs for further development and efforts required to make school a safer and more inclusive place for young transgender and non-binary people.

“All children and young people must attend school and it is therefore particularly important that it is a safe place where everyone can feel that they can be themselves. We are now instructing the Ombudsman for Children in Sweden to investigate how we can create better conditions for this to happen in concrete terms,” says Ms Lindhagen.

SEK 14 million is to be allocated for the action plan per year from 2020, and an additional SEK 10 million per year in temporary funding is planned for 2021 and 2022.

The Government’s work on equal rights and opportunities for LGBTIQ people

The Government’s work has been under way since 2014 and is based on the strategy for equal rights and opportunities irrespective of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. The strategy has laid the foundation for long-term action within the focus areas, including violence, discrimination and other degrading treatment; young LGBTIQ people; health, care and social services; private and family life; culture; and civil society. The action plan complements the current strategy and defines concrete measures for the period 2020–2023. The current focus areas continue to be of central importance but are now complemented with two additional focus areas: working life and older LGBTIQpeople. In addition, asylum and migration are included in the focus area ‘violence, discrimination and other violations’.

The Government has appointed a number of government agencies to be ‘strategic LGBTIQ agencies’. This means they are to promote equal rights and opportunities regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. The Government intends to appoint the Family Law and Parental Support Authority as a new strategic LGBTIQ agency, which means that there are a total of 11 strategic LGBTIQ agencies.

Press contact

Frida Färlin
Acting Press Secretary to the Minister for Gender Equality, with responsibility for anti-discrimination and anti-segregation, Åsa Lindhagen
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00