A Peek Into Several European Countries
By: Devon Fasbinder
As a Country
Sweden is known as one of the most gender-egalitarian countries across the world. According to Sweden Sverige, a governmental website, the country is, “based on a firm belief that men and women should share power and influence equally.” It really boils down to rights for Sweden. The country pushes the idea that everyone, regardless of gender, has the right to work and support themselves, to balance career and family life, and to live without fear of abuse or violence. The government does say that it realizes there is always room for improvement.
The curriculum in schools is focused on democratic values and gender-equality according to The Economist. The country aims to give all children equal and every opportunity they can. The teaching methods focus on growing each student individually, regardless of gender, race, etc. Teachers focus on the unique individual and how they can support and grow that person individually. Sweden has free school choice which can lead to some discrepancies in class segregation, but gender is not an issue.
The Swedish government says it aims to give both men and women equal opportunity to influence society. Sweden has a Discrimination Act that highlights the importance of gender, racial, social, religious, etc. equality that can be applied to the workforce. The law requires employers to take all harassment allegations seriously and they have to investigate them. There are rules against treating people unfairly in the workplace and employers tend to follow the rules to avoid any issues. According to the government website, pay differences largely have to do with differences in position, standing, etc.
In Positions of Power
According to a Swedish article Active Work for Gender Equality, gender inequality is based on uneven power between men and women. The Swedish government site reports in 2012, the share of women heading companies – private and public sector combined – was 36 per cent compared with 29 per cent in 2006. So the amount of women in power is consistently increasing in Sweden, following their ideals.