Head of State IMPACT Champion

Stefan Löfven

All of us who live in Sweden shape our country together. I urge all men to join in and take their share of responsibility – at work, in their home life and among their friends. Together we can create a gender-equal society.

IMPACT Commitments


Close the gap between men and women in pay and employment


Today, Swedish women are less likely to be employed full-time than their male peers (64 per cent vs. 69 per cent)1, and earn on average 87 per cent of men's pay. Sweden aims to close the employment gap, and ensure women can work full-time. In this electoral period, Sweden aims to increase the women’s employment and level the pay gap. The government will institute annual pay equity surveys to drive towards parity, and will create the structures and support needed to make full-time work sustainable for both men and women, including a more gender-equal division of parental leave and by strengthening welfare systems and services, both access to childcare and elderly care.


Advance women leaders across all Swedish sectors.


Sweden’s public sector is on the leading edge with respect to gender parity: an equal number of women and men hold positions as ministers, state secretaries and political advisers, and women represent 50% of Board seats in state-owned companies. Women remain under-represented in business and academia2, however, and Sweden aims to achieve parity across all sectors. Building on the existing strength of their public sector, Sweden will reach parity in all politically appointed positions by the end of this electoral period. If the target 40% representation of women in the boards of listed companies is not met, Sweden will legislate quotas in 2017. To drive broader participation of women in academia, Sweden will establish an expert group for gender equality in higher education, with a mandate to present proposals ahead of the next major research bill, due in 2016.


Address gender inequities in health.


Sick leave in Sweden exhibits a considerable bias in its gender distribution; two out of three are women. And many women and girls are subject to violence: cases of abuse and rape have increased by 5 and 13 percent respectively between 2013 and 2014. The Government intends to eliminate gender disparities in sick and health rates, including by focusing on strengthening of preventive mental health work. The Government will stamp out violence against women through a national strategy, as well as by reviewing the rape legislation, strengthening support to women shelters and involving men to promote change.


Note: Prime Minister Lofven was elected in 2014, the electoral period lasts through 2018


1. For Swedish-born 15-74 year olds, 2014 figure 2 23–24 per cent of governing board members in listed companies in Sweden are women and only 6 per cent of these governing boards are chaired by women. Women are underrepresented in the corporate managements of listed companies and women account for only 3 out of 10 business start-ups in Sweden. In 2013, only 24 per cent of university professors in Sweden were women.

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