Sweden // Laws and Policies

In Sweden, gender mainstreaming is seen as the main strategy for achieving the gender equality policy objectives . The portal www.includegender.org was created in 2009 to support gender mainstreaming efforts in the public sector, providing concrete tools to facilitate make gender mainstreaming in practice.  Includegender.org is a Swedish national resource for gender equality. The portal offers information and news about gender equality as well as practical examples of and concrete tools for gender equality work. Includegender.org was launched in December 2009 and is a unique Swedish cooperative venture involving the European Social Fund, the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research, the County Administrative Board, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) and the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA).

In a government bill of 2006, the government proposed new policy objectives for gender equality policy, with the overarching goal that women and men shall have the same power to shape society and their own lives. In addition to the overarching goal, four underlying sub-goals guide the gender equality policy: equal distribution of power and influence; economic equality between women and men; equal distribution of unpaid care and household work; and men's violence against women must come to an end. The strategies for achieving these goals are continued gender mainstreaming and the establishment of a government agency with the task of contributing to the development of efficient equality policies. As a consequence of the 2006 government bill, the new Ministry of Integration and Gender Equality was established in 2007, before being dissolved in 2010, with gender-equality competencies moving to the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs.

In 2011, the Swedish government decided to strengthen efforts for gender equality by creating a national platform to further gender mainstreaming at the municipal, regional and national levels. The platform comprises five different parts: a Strategy for Gender Mainstreaming in the Government Offices; a development programme for government agencies; support for gender mainstreaming at regional level; quality control vis-à-vis the development of gender mainstreaming in municipalities and county councils; and initiatives to gather and share experience and knowledge about the practical implementation of gender mainstreaming. In particular, the new strategy adopted for 2012–2015 outlines the overall framework for gender mainstreaming within government offices for the period 2012–2015, and aims to provide the government with the best possible conditions to ensure a gender-equality dimension in all areas of government policy.

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