Gender Equality Sweden

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11-06-07 SPin09a Linda Tysk Gender Equality in Sweden Women's status in one of the World's most
gender-equal countries
Name: Linda Tysk Class: SPin09a
Subject: Social Science B
Teacher: Trevor Fisher 1
11-06-07 SPin09a Linda Tysk Results History toward gender equality: Gender equality has during many centuries been a highly debated question in many countries in
the World. Sweden is one of the leading countries when it comes to gender equality in the world,
and even though we take that it consideration, we are not even close to equal yet.
After the first World War, women's power in the World grew, when many of their husbands served
or died in the war, so women were forced to take a bigger role in the society when there was a huge
need for labor and also to fight the growing poverty-problems. So due to that, women started
working in areas that earlier had been for men. The same thing happened after and during the
second World War, when women started fighting toward getting the same benefits and salaries as
men received. But one of the most important steps toward gender equality in Sweden according to
me was the decision in 1921 where women got the right to vote.
Apart from the right to vote in Sweden, the government also introduced (among many):
- In 1925, women were allowed to work in the public service.
- In 1927, women were allowed to study at public schools.
- In 1946, women were allowed to have equal pay to the same work in the public services.
- In 1969-1970, gender equality became a part of the curriculum in primary and secondary
- In 1974, both men and women were allowed to be on parental leave.
- In 1979, gender equality became law at work.
- In 1998, a law for women's integrity was introduced and a prohibition for sexual services was
also introduced.
About 70 years ago, there were huge differences when it came to men's and women's rights in the
society. Women were not guaranteed the same pay as men, even though they performed the same
amount of work, they were not allowed to participate in some certain professional training, and the
taxation at that time made it less profitable for women to earn money on their own.
Sweden today: Power and Influence: When it comes to power and influence, there are differences depending on
what part of society it is. The most equal part of the society is when it comes to politics.
Sweden is the second leading country, after Rwanda, when it comes to the share of seats in the
parliament (with about 40% women in the Parliament), although, there are countries with 0%
women in the Parliament. Only Rwanda is the country with over 50% women in the Parliament.
In other parts of the society (such as: mass-media, churches, science etc.), the rate is lower and still
today, it is more common with male bosses than female.
Education: The educational part has historically been dominated by men, and some decades ago,
they debated whether women's low education level would prevent gender equality, but today, there
are more women than men who graduates from College, except for the technical programs that are
still male-dominated. Women also graduates with higher grades then men today, something that was
1 Årtalslistor. Kvinnsam: Continuously 6
th of June.
2 Women in Parliament 2010: Top 29 Countries. Inter-Parliamentary Union: 2010
th of June.
3 Jämställdhet i Sverige. Jämstä Jämstä Unknown 6
th of June.
11-06-07 SPin09a Linda Tysk reversed some decades ago.
Economy: Today, the rate of employed women and men is close to equal with 80 versus 86
percent, but men still earn more money than women.
Work: The labor market is to a large extent divided between the two genders, where they work
with different professions, businesses, sectors etc, where women more commonly work in the
public sector and men with commercial and industrial business. It is also more common that women
work part-time than men.
Violence: When it comes to men's violence toward women, the problem seems to increase with
time instead of decrease (4% increase from 2009 to 2010).Reports about violence in the household
is common, but the reports about rape is also increasing with 11% in 2010 compared to 2009.
Care- and Household: Women still do most of the work in the household and the unpaid work, but
men are taking steps toward changing that. More and more men stay at home with their family,
which earlier were something that only women did, and today about 20% of the fathers use their
parent's allowance days.
What Sweden is doing today to make the society more equal: Sweden is today working toward:
- An equal distribution of power and influence in the society, something that can only be possible if
both men and women have the same rights and possibilities to shape the society.
This goal is supposed to be reached by working with the living terms during the upbringing,
the nontraditional choices in life (when it comes to school, pre-school and profession) and
by working with influences and leaderships.
- A society with economic equality, where both men and women are going to have the same
opportunities and terms in both education and in paid work that gives them independence their
whole life.
This goal will be obtained by working with the attitude-influences in a long-term
perspective, by making it easier for business enterprises and by adapting work for both men
and women.
- Making the work at home more equal and for men and women to have the same care-
This goal will be obtained by changing the care-service to make it more adapted for both
men and women, reaching a more equal/equal rate of men and women being on parental
leave and by working to improve both men and women's health.
- A society where men's violence toward women will end, also honor-violence and oppression and
also sexual-trade and prostitution.
This goal will be obtained by working with an environment for upbringing without gender-
related violence, changing the gender-related pattern of power and by working toward an
equal availability to the public room.
4 Jämställdhet i Sverige. Jämstä Jämstä Unknown 6
th of June.
5 I bid.
6 I bid.
7 I bid.
8 Jämställdhet i Sverige. Jämstä Jämstä Unknown 6
th of June.
9 Delmål. Lä Lä Unknown 7
th of June.
11-06-07 SPin09a Linda Tysk Analysis and Conclusion Sweden is one of the most gender-equal countries in the world, together with the rest of the
Scandinavian countries, and I believe that it came naturally when Sweden started developing as a
country to become an industrialized country.
After the World Wars, women's situation started changing more drastically here in Sweden, and
also in the other countries that were involved. The Army Nurse corporation became a part of the
army, and when they got home from war, women had also started working in new areas. So after the
wars, women were allowed to work in new areas and they received more and more appreciation in
the society.
Sweden looked a lot different 50 years ago than it does now, and I remember that my mother has
told me that when my grandfather passed away, he left my grandmother to support the family. But
since she had been depending on him her whole life, she did not have a job nor a drivers license.
Then she started working in kitchens at kindergartens and at a dry-cleaning. And I believe that this
situation was very common then, where women were housewives and depended on men. The
fathers in the house were rarely at home with the children, since the mothers were at home all day,
and also because the parental leave for fathers did not exist. So it is a lot more common for fathers
to help at home today compared to 50 years ago.
I think this situation can partly describe how it is till like in the developing countries, since women
are still “housewives” (they stay at home and maintain the household), even though it is a lot more
extreme in the poorest countries in both South America, Africa and Asia, but the situation is similar.
And just like the GAD theory says (Gender and development), the relations between men and
women is the most important thing for a society to develop. According to that theory, the society
has to work so women can be integrated into the society, by seeing that women are a important part
of both the production and reproduction. To help women, the society can help women in the
reproduction stage by making it easier for women to work and have children at the same time
(something we in Sweden see as parental leave where you still get paid, and also kindergartens for
example). This is not something that is given in every country.
Apart from the GAD-theory, I can also see connections to the Rostow-theory, since most of the
gender equal countries are at the last stage/stages in the development process. Sweden is is at stage
5, where the society and the economy is stable. Many of the unequal countries on the other hand,
are at the bottom stages in development, where societies and countries are mostly relying on
agriculture. So the conclusions from this is that by integrating women into the society, the country
can develop. This is because women are an important part of for example healthcare and in
education, which in the less developed countries are sectors where development fails. So if I
connect this to the GAD theory, I believe that the less developed countries can reach higher stages if
they integrate women into the society and use what they are good at, by making it possible for their
children to go to school and for women to work and have children at the same time. So if one
women take the responsibility of teaching more children than her own, their mothers can work in
other parts of the society. But this of course means that women needs to be educated too, so the first
step might actually be to enable women to study. This was also one of the earliest steps in Sweden.
Sweden is a democracy too, and that basically means that every person in the society has the same
possibility to affect the society, and not all countries are democratic. To give women the right to
vote was a natural step in a democracy, since they otherwise would not have been democratic. The
Scandinavian countries are both one of the most democratic and most gender equal countries in the
World, so I definitely believe that democracy has a big impact on how gender equal societies are.
Sweden is very close to be statistically equal in many parts of the society, even though men and
11-06-07 SPin09a Linda Tysk women still work in different sectors, but I believe that it somehow is natural for women and men to
not work in the exact same areas, because already at the beginning of the societies in this World
(stone-age for example), women and men took different chores in the family, where men did the
hunting and women took care of the family and the cooking. So I think the natural part of that is not
the conservative part in saying that women belong in the kitchen, but that women naturally prefer to
take care of people. So the natural sector for women would be to work in the public sector. Some
might say that this is due to our upbringing, where girls in kindergartens are taught by the teachers
how to cook while boys run around with cars or as superman saving girls in trouble. That I might
agree with, that women are pointed out as weaker than men. Another example of this is when we
were taught that boys can not hit girls, but it is okay to do the opposite. Despite this, I believe that
we can have a gender equal society without actually behave and like the same things. I think that
gender equality is about being equal, that we can benefit from each others differences by seeing
what the different features in the genders can do to benefit development, rather than doing the
opposite. An example of this might be for women and men to work together in the building of the
society, where women can be in charge of the healthcare and the public sector and have men help
them to make it better, and for men to use women's help.
One of the arguments the feminist parties use are that men's violence toward women is increasing,
and even though I think it is really bad that it is happening, I do believe that it gives the opposite
effect, since women are actually being pointed out as victims in society. If I am not wrong, that was
the problem in the beginning, that women were weaker than men, and that was what we wanted to
change. It gives the grown-up version of princesses and the saving princes, since what they want is
for men to help women get through it. The real problem according to me is actually that women are
not confident enough to get out of a marriage where the husband is abusing them, since they might
believe that they can not cope on their own. That might have been the case 40 years ago, but today,
we in Sweden have come so far that women can start over.
I also believe that media has a very important role in making countries more gender equal, since
we already at an early age are pointed out as heroes in this world, by making children's programs
about men being heroes and women often as the vi...

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Jämstä Unknown. Jämställdhet i Sverige. Jämstä 6th of June. Lä Unknown. Delmål. Lä 7th of June. jamstalldhet/Pages/delmal-jamstalldhet.aspx Kvinnsam: Continuously. Årtalslistor. 6th of June. Inter-Parliamentary Union: 2010. Women in Parliament 2010: Top 29 Countries. 6th of June. Link for the picture:

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