• Sweden edition
 

Swedish university guilty of gender discrimination

Published: 21 Dec 2009 13:57 GMT+01:00
Updated: 21 Dec 2009 13:57 GMT+01:00

The Svea Court of Appeal found it was illegal for the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet – SLU) in Uppsala to prioritize men for its veterinary education programme. The appeals court upheld a previous decision by the district court, which found SLU guilty of illegal gender discrimination.

Fourty-four women who applied to Sweden's only veterinary education programme in 2006 and 2007 filed a suit against the institution. Applicants were accepted via a weighted lottery whereby male students had a considerably greater chance of being admitted compared to their female counterparts with equivalent merits.

The admissions system accounted for the fact that more women than men study veterinary science, with the same over-representation among professionals. The Swedish government was of the opinion that the admissions procedure had a legal basis since it promoted equality within the veterinary profession.

The court awarded each female plaintiff 35,000 kronor ($4,800) in damages. The Swedish state is also to pay court costs amounting to 37,400 kronor.

The court ruled that the women were discriminated against in such a way that violates Swedish equality law, a point which the state has also conceded.

The law does allow discrimination on the basis of gender if there is demonstrably a goal that can be seen to override the general principle of preventing discrimination within higher education. The question for the court was whether or not the discrimination the women faced in this case was justifiable.

The appeals court said that the legal text did not provide any further guidance. SLU's justification was to achieve a more equal gender balance within veterinary education and within the profession itself. But the institution of a weighted lottery for admissions gave women only a theoretical chance of gaining admission.

Such a measure, in effect excluding women from being admitted, was excessive in comparison to the limited effect the measure had in terms of creating equality in education and within the labour market, the court ruled.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

16:21 December 21, 2009 by calebian22
"The admissions system accounted for the fact that more women than men study veterinary science, with the same over-representation among professionals."

Seems like this should have been a good enough reason for the court to side with the University. For years, since the feminist movement began, the discussion and debate has always been how to make male dominated professional fields accessible to women by favoring women applicants.

Now a field is dominated by women, but a weighted scale in favor of men is illegal. I wonder what the difference is now?
16:43 December 21, 2009 by Beynch
It is too easy to shriek "discrimination" at the slightest slight. This appears to be nothing more than a neurotic, menopausal, aberration where "discrimination" has become the convenient out. The only effect it has, is that one looses all respect of the actions of an, easily mislead, appeals court. Could it be that SLU followed its criteria of the mosty suitable person for the spot? Who is scrutinizing the appeals court?
16:53 December 21, 2009 by Celc
@calebian22 - There is no difference, it's illegal both ways. Some (so called) feminists have argued for a weighted scale in favor of women but it's never been legal in Sweden and I hope it never will be.
19:38 December 21, 2009 by calebian22
Celc,

"The law does allow discrimination on the basis of gender if there is demonstrably a goal that can be seen to override the general principle of preventing discrimination within higher education."

The article seems to indicate that gender based discrimination is legal in Sweden. I hope you are right though.
19:52 December 21, 2009 by Osokin
How is this not hilarious ?

Much more women in veterinary, they try to balance the field and make it equal to both genders, booyah! the court vetoes ! Too many men in companie's boards or political parties : female QUOTAS. Men go work outdoors, indoors jobs are for women in this country, period.
22:26 December 21, 2009 by Cornelius Hamelberg
"And every fair from fair sometime declines"

To Beynch: Seems to rhyme & jive

with wench...

I'd hate to quote Blake or Bible here, but

did I actually hear you say "menopausal", Sir?

I remember "menopausal minds" as a unique Norman Mailer expression, specially designed/ coined to make old ladies angry...

Now,I don't imagine that you would want to do just that: to stoke - or incur the wrath of the so called "weaker" sex…

Of course the gander could be gender mistaken….
00:20 December 22, 2009 by CarlBlack
@ Celc: you are unfortunately not right:

The Liberal Party was the first Swedish party to regulate a minimum level of women's representation to 40 percent in 1972. During the 1980s and 1990s the rest of the Swedish parties represented in the parliament also set numerical goals for women's participation.

Apparently, preference or quotas in favor of one gender really exist. However it looks like that it is accepted only if it is in favor of women. I wonder if the above mentioned quotas also set the minimum representation of 40 percent for the opposite sex, or if it is really only one way.

So is this gender equality or female domination? Maybe Swedish men should sue anyone using quotas, based on the current decision of the appeals court and see what happens.
10:03 December 22, 2009 by gmaddalo
good point that has been raised up! Sweden is alleged as the country of equality but i would not say that! Today there is a scandal of sex gender discrimination, few days ago unfair treatment towards foreign researchers! I hope that Sweden would be told off from the European Union, take the mask away and have the courage finally to face the discrimination problems seriously!
20:56 December 22, 2009 by mkvgtired
So reverse sexism/racism is still ok in the West then. Is anybody surprised?
21:08 February 18, 2010 by kleo
Does anyone know whether I could find an English translation of this decision anywhere?
Today's headlines
Swimrun
Record win at Sweden's tough island race
Photo: Jakob Edholm/ÖTILLÖ14

Record win at Sweden's tough island race

Two Swedes crushed last year's course record at the Swimrun world championship in Stockholm's archipelago on Monday. READ  

Sweden reveals Academy Award submission
Swedish director Ruben Östlund on set. Photo. TT

Sweden reveals Academy Award submission

The movie set to represent Sweden at the 2015 Academy Awards was revealed on Monday, a film that has already won awards abroad. READ  

Amphetamines
Hidden forest drug stash leads to prosecution

Hidden forest drug stash leads to prosecution

A 53-year-old man has been prosecuted after police in western Sweden made one of their largest drug seizures in the area. READ  

Man shot dead in hunting accident
Photo: Hunter Desportes/Flickr

Man shot dead in hunting accident

UPDATED: Police in northern Sweden say a man was killed on Monday morning after what they described as a "hunting accident". READ  

Pirate Bay Swede's trial set for final stage

Pirate Bay Swede's trial set for final stage

The mother of Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has told The Local about her son's "suffering" in jail ahead of the final stages of his trial. READ  

Suspected Ebola case ruled out in Sweden
Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Suspected Ebola case ruled out in Sweden

UPDATED: Officials at a Stockholm hospital reported that they had found a suspected case of the Ebola virus on Sunday night. But the case was dismissed on Monday. READ  

Murderer on the loose after breakout

Murderer on the loose after breakout

A 34-year-old man who killed a child is on the run after he broke out of a psychiatric ward in central Sweden. READ  

Skåne floods
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
A Malmö bus under water. Photo: Stig Åke Jönsson/TT

Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods

Flood waters subsided in the southern Sweden region of Skåne on Monday, after flash flooding saw chaos on roads and trains at the weekend. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto

UPDATED: Leaders of the Moderate Party, the Centre Party, the Liberal Party and the Christian Democrats have announced their complete list of election promises in Stockholm's Nacka. READ  

Zlatan scores hat trick in PSG thrashing
Photo: AP

Zlatan scores hat trick in PSG thrashing

Champions Paris Saint-Germain thumped Saint-Etienne 5-0 as Bordeaux saw their 100 percent record at the start of the Ligue 1 season ended on Sunday with a 1-1 draw against Bastia. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Politics
How immigration became a key election issue
Society
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

754
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se