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Equality among men and women in Sweden

Offline AKBAR

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Equality among men and women in Sweden
« on: January 08, 2009, 08:21:12 PM »
Equality among men and women in Sweden
A note on equality

The considerable degree of independence enjoyed by Swedish women may come as a surprise to students from countries where conditions in this respect may be very different.

Swedish law strictly forbids conduct deemed offensive to women on sexual or other grounds. Equal rights for women are well protected, both by law and in practice, and their violation will not be accepted.

Sweden is also a diverse society with a history of international solidarity. A generous refugee policy has turned Sweden into a medley of different cultures, a process that has enriched its own culture along the way. All world religions are represented in Sweden; in most cities you can buy food from virtually anywhere in the world. Newspapers and other media from many different countries are also widely available.

Moreover, as Swedish society has grown more diverse and tolerant over the years, other minority groups have become more assertive. Homosexuals live openly and self-avowed gay people occupy responsible positions in public life. While pockets of ignorance and discrimination may remain, they are few and far between. Sweden is a tolerant, modern society that for many years has made it a key priority to secure minority rights through legislation and in practice. Gay students are highly unlikely to encounter offensive behavior or other problems during their stay.

Successive governments have worked hard to cement tolerance as a key value in Swedish society. The government has created the Office of the Ombudsman against Ethnic Discrimination (DO), whose task it is to actively oppose unfair or offensive treatment on the grounds of race, skin color, national or ethnic origin or religious faith. There is also the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman (JämO), focusing on gender discrimination, and an Ombudsman against Discrimination on grounds of Sexual Orientation (HomO).

All universities and university colleges are able to provide some form of assistance to students with disabilities. Many of them have also drawn up special programs aimed at helping disabled students pursue their studies, regardless of their handicap.

There is a person responsible for matters relating to functional disabilities on the staff of every university and university college. It may be a good idea to contact this person before leaving for Sweden. You will find a list with contact details here. For more general information please see the National Agency for Special Educational Support. For European exchange students, additional information can be found here.

On March 1, 2002, the Swedish parliament passed a law aimed at combating discrimination in institutions of higher education. The law affords protection to all of the above groups. If you have reason to believe that you have been unfairly treated, you should contact your local student union, which will advise you on how to proceed.

Read more about equality among men and women in Sweden at www.sweden.se/equality.

Offline AKBAR

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Sweden Equal Opportunities by Karin Alfredsson
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2009, 08:22:53 PM »
Sweden Equal Opportunities by Karin Alfredsson

Sweden tops international ranking lists that measure equality between men and women. For a long time, men and women have enjoyed equal representation in both the government and Parliament.

Thanks to an extensive system of parental insurance and child care, women in Sweden do not need to choose between their families and careers — they can have both. In no other European country are so many women employed outside the home; at the same time, only a few European countries have experienced higher birth rates than Sweden in recent years.



Concurrently, most people in our country believe that a good deal remains to be done in the equal opportunity sphere. Wage differentials between men and women still exist; for the most part, the labor market is still divided along gender lines; and few women occupy upper management positions in business and industry. Many also believe that violence against women is an expression of the prevailing gender-based power structure in society.

In this publication, we have endeavored to present a vibrant, coherent picture of those areas that are most relevant to equal opportunity between women and men in Sweden today.