Information and Resources on Gender Equality and Gender Research in Norway

The equality progress has stopped!
Swedes often like to brag about belonging to the country with best gender equality in the world. And sure, there have been quite a few steps forward in Sweden: There are the right to abortion, it’s prohibited for men to rape, there are juridical laws for women’s rights, and as an effort to decrease sex trade it is not legal to buy sex. Sweden also has the world’s most generous parent insurances and we have pre-schools.

Many people think this happened by itself, and that society by itself will be equal. But there are many years with fighting behind these steps. And the fight is by far done.

Only 20 per cent of the parental leave in Sweden is done by men, despite the fact that parents may be home for 16 months. Women lose speed in the wage’s development and career when they become parents. Wages’ discrimination has been standing still for twenty years, and the new pension system discriminates women even more than the last one did. Still, a woman is being murdered each week by someone close or some former man, and almost every second woman in Sweden has experienced violence or threats of violence by a man. Mens violence is increasing.

The equality progress is standing still. Or, more correctly, has taken steps back on several areas.

Why won’t equality progress in "the country with best gender equality in the world"? Six of seven parties in the national assembly claim to be feminist, but in reality men’s situations keep being given preferance to in one political area after the other. To be feminist obliges, it means to act! There is a need for a feminist awakening, not only in Sweden or the European Union, but in all international politics!

Comments (1)

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By Nisse
15.03.2008 - 16:03
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You claim that in Sweden a woman is murdered every week and that a woman experiences violence almost every second.
What are the sources for these claims?

Judging from official statistics 17 women are killed every year in Sweden by a man they have or have had a relation with, and not 52.

When it comes to the frequency of domestic violence against women, it's claimed that in the US it occurs every 15 seconds. Taking the difference in population into account, this would mean that it occurs every 8 minutes in Sweden - unless domestic violence is many times more prevalent in Sweden.

On top of this one might ask why you don't mention at the same time that men are the victims of domestic violence just as often as women, as shown by all serious studies done in the field.

And, to follow this thought through to the bitter end, you must know that men are also killed by women with which they are or were in a relationship. Why aren't they mentioned at all, if it's equality you're after and not matriarchy? Do you even know how many these murdered men are? Are men less equal than women counting by the feminism you profess?

Executive member of Feministisk Initiativ Sweden

The Swedish Feministisk Initiativ (F!) is an organization founded in 2004. The purpose was to gather many different feminists in one organization, and together challenge the gender equality politics and debate in Sweden. In 2006 they ran for parliament and this spring, F! will decide if they will run for the European Parliament in 2009 and for national parliament in 2010.

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