What happened to Sweden's #MeToo money?

After what's known in Sweden as "the autumn of #MeToo", the government set aside 120 million kronor to tackle gendered discrimination. So what happened to the money?

Catherine Edwards
Catherine Edwards NewsMavens, Sweden
What happened to Sweden's #MeToo money? - NewsMavens
MeToo, PixaBay

Why this story matters:

In Sweden, the #MeToo movement was highly organized.

Rather than name or shame alleged abusers and harassers, women from over 60 industries set up calls for structural changes in their sector, and these groups coordinated to lobby for change at a political level.

The government promised to act, and earmarked 120 million kronor (approximately 5.9 million euros) in last year's spring budget  for policies and authorities to tackle harassment.

But an investigation by public broadcaster SVT shows that of the money given directly to the authorities, just half of the total 60 million kronor was used.

Authorities cited the six-month time limit as a key factor in restricting their ability to make use of the investment, and warned that if further funds are not allocated to the issue of harassment, the policy risks being merely "symbolic" rather than allowing for real change.

While the "autumn of #MeToo" was over a year ago, this shows that in order for the needed structural changes to occur, continuous campaigning and action are needed.

Details from the story:

  • Of 60 million kronor given to authorities directly, only half was used. The remaining 30 million must be paid back to the state
  • The Swedish Work Environment Authority used only 1.7 million euros of an allocated 10 million euros , which it used to create and publish a brochure about harassment
  • The Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority used all of its allocated 10 million euros , including for a widespread campaign raising awareness of sexual consent and Sweden's new consent law
  • The National Agency for Education spent less than half of its allocated 20 million euros. 

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
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