If I Were A Swedish Woman...

From required parental leave to hiring equity, Swedish women are setting the standard for gender progress. 🇸🇪

Gender equality is written in the Sweden’s constitution

My name is Solveig and I am an American who moved back to the land of my ancestors: Sweden. Together, the parents have the right to 480 days, I believe, for parental leave. And 3 months of that is reserved for each partner. So, there is 3 months that the woman has to take, or you lose it, and that the man has to take of you lose it. I noticed that there are more women in the workplace, more women taking initiative in all areas. You don’t hear nearly as much of the type of comment like: “How do you balance work and family life? How do you handle your kids and career here?” Because that’s just normal. Everyone does it, men and women.

If I were a Swedish woman…I could work full-time and put my child in daycare for a maximum amount of $148 a month. If I earned a low-income salary, I’d pay nothing. My country would be run by a government who declared themselves “feminist”, as written on their official website. I could be part of the 46% of women in parliament and part of the 50% who make up the government’s cabinet. My partner and I could benefit from a gender-neutral paid parental leave, one of the most generous leave policies in the world. Each partner would receive 80% of their salaries for the first 390 days of leave. I’d only be 2% less likely to get hired than my male counterpart, compared to 11% in the US. compared to 8.5% in the UK and compared to 7.8% in France according to the INSEE.

Gender discrimination has been against the law since 1980 and women’s incomes have been rising at a faster rate than that of men according to Statistics Sweden. Gender equality is written in the country’s constitution and is a clear-cut policy objective, supervised by the by Gender Equality Agency. Equality became a separate policy domain in the early 1970s.