Sweden's Gender Equality Authority looks likely to survive, but for how long?

Sweden's Gender Equality Authority faced closure after a center-right budget was voted through. Now, it looks as if its future will be secured.

Catherine Edwards
Catherine Edwards NewsMavens, Sweden
Sweden's Gender Equality Authority looks likely to survive, but for how long? - NewsMavens
Riksdag, Sweden, Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

"Secured" if a proposed government deal between four of Sweden's parties comes into effect, something which is not yet guaranteed.

Isabella Lövin, spokesperson for the Green Party which signed the four-party agreement, said that one of the successes of the deal was that "the new gender equality authority [would be] saved".

The equality authority had been open for less than a year when the autumn budget left it threatened with closure.

Authorities and projects like this one need the assurance of long-term funding and stability if they are to carry out their mission -- tackling structural inequalities and working to prevent gendered violence -- successfully and with long-term effects.

In 2017, a UK report warned that women and vulnerable groups were disproportionately affected by austerity. In a similar way, it may be the case that political deadlock and stagnation -- an increasingly common situation across Europe in recent years -- could hit disadvantaged groups the hardest.

Details from the story:

  • Sweden's gender equality authority, first proposed in 2016, officially opened on January 1, 2018 and was allocated 900 million kronor for the next four years to work out a national strategy to prevent violence against women including honour-related violence
  • Sweden does not yet have a government, more than four months after its September election. The center-left caretaker government worked with opposition parties on a "politically neutral" budget proposal, but this was defeated in favor of a budget put forward by the center-right Moderate and Christian Democrat parties.
  • Four parties (the center-left Social Democrats and Green Party, plus the center-liberal Center and Liberal parties) agreed on a government deal over the weekend which could put an end to the ongoing deadlock, but only if they can get the Left Party (who are explicitly excluded from political influence by the deal) not to vote "no".
  • If the deal is passed, the new government plans to make amendments to the center-right budget in spring, including further investment in the gender equality authority
  • Sweden's parliament will next vote on a prime ministerial candidate on Friday

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

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