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Minister touts new law on board gender quotas

Minister touts new law on board gender quotas

Published: 29 Jul 2011 10:47 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Jul 2011 10:47 GMT+02:00

Sweden's minster for gender equality, Nyamko Sabuni, has called for legislation to help boost the number of women who serve on the boards of local government-operated companies.

According to the Sabuni, the there are too few women serving on the boards of companies operated by Sweden's 290 municipalities.

“They should lead by example,” Sabuni told the Aftonbladet newspaper, adding that the gender balance is better among Sweden's state-owned company boards.

“The state has done its homework, but the representation of women in local government company boards looks very bad and has not changed much in recent years."

Sabuni, a member of the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet), explained that the government would like to see a at least a 60-40 gender balance and local government-operated companies are not making the grade.

In order to address the matter, Sabuni, plans to push for legislation that will enforce gender quotas in municipal-run companies.

“There are political voices demanding legislation for the private sector but they are not watching what the state and local authorities are doing on the public’s behalf,” she told Aftonbladet.

The proposal, which will be presented at the party’s congress in October, still needs clarification regarding the implementation of such quotas, but Sabuni nevertheless expects the measure to be adopted by her party.

“Then we have to start the negotiating work with the other parties. There should be an interest to review how equal the municipal-run company boards are,” she said.

Despite her plans to introduce legislation to force gender quotas on local government-run companies, Sabuni does not believe the government should interfere with gender balance of private company boards.

Karen Holst (kholstmedia@gmail.com)

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Your comments about this article

13:52 July 29, 2011 by TomasBrolin
Slippery slope.....
14:06 July 29, 2011 by Mb 65
It should be the right person for the job no matter of sex, race or religion. This women is sexist. if a man said the same thing about men he would be sacked.
14:17 July 29, 2011 by Kr0n
I have a few questions for Ms. Sabuni.

1. Assuming that her proposal has merits and the men-to-women ratio in the government-owned companies should be 60%-to-40%, what's about the lower-level management and line staff, and variation among industries? Here is an example. There is a construction company where 95% of the employees are male. The management is also male, as it was raised in-house and promoted from the employee level. The borad is 100% male. How in this particular case does Ms. Sabunu suggest to implement her initiative? Where can we find the required women? Should we fire 40% of the male board or inflate the headcount by 67% to accommodate the newcomers-women in the required proportion? How about the continuity of in-house development? There are much fewer women than men among construction workers.

2. The board must be experienced in the industry and have appropriate connections. In male-dominated industries, a female board member may lack both the experience and the connections as an outsider to the industry. Hence, does Ms. Sabuni's proposal involve additional training of women for male-dominant professions (to enable true gender equality at all levels), so that the female board members are raised in-house and are not planted from the outside straight into the board room. What is the economic purpose of having inexperienced females in the boards? Or, is this mostly a political trick, a pre-election move, or a PR stunt?

3. Where is the line between feminism and gender equality? Why does Ms. Sabuni not argue for the same 60/40 proportion among employees at all levels in state-owned companies? Bus drivers, construction workers, plumbers, police, military after all? It is nice and sweet to sit in the board room, do nothing (as there is no experience or connections) and receive a hefty paycheck just because a member is female and her job is to fill a legislated quota, nothing else. It is plain stupid and bad management on behalf of the people of Sweden? Or, is Ms. Sabuni more concerned about unemployed fellow immigrants who bug her to help find good-paying, permanent, state-guaranteed, and easy jobs (as many female immigrants are illiterate and can only count cash in their pockets)?
14:50 July 29, 2011 by redcrown
how did Ms Sabuni ,become minister for gender equality.was it because she was the best person for the job ,or was it because of 60/40 in the government,or was it because they were no suitable males to fill this roll
15:46 July 29, 2011 by byke
We have seen first hand where such proposals can lead to very dangerous situations in the workplace. Take for instance the female bus driver who worked for SL and ran over a pram at Slussen, Stockholm.
15:51 July 29, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
@redcrown

She is a product of multiculturalism, feminism and because RainField wanted to show his voters that he was a very nice man.

Mrs. Sabuni has proven to be nothing. Almost every time she opens her mouth, says something sexist and racist. She should have been sacked a long time ago but she was only degraded from a zero to a minus zero. What has she really accomplished? She is one of the many ministers in the government of invisible Rainfield that has proven to be nothing.
16:12 July 29, 2011 by byke
Guinness Records 2009 (Womens Edition)

CAR PARKING

INCORRECT DRIVING

The longest journey completed with the handbrake on was one of 504km (313mile) from Stranraer to Holyhead by Dr. Julie Thorn(GB) at the wheel of a Saab 900 on the 2nd April 1987. Dr. Thorn smelled burning two miles into her journey at Aird but pressed on to Holyhead with smoke billowing from the rear wheels. This journey also holds the records for the longest completed journey with the choke fully out and the right indicator flashing.
16:15 July 29, 2011 by redcrown
J. L. Belmar

If government jobs are give to immigrants and females instead of the most suitable people regardless of who they are, does that not lead to poorer government ,which leads to citizen unrest in the long term
16:28 July 29, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
@redcrown

Government jobs should be given to the most suitable people regardless of who they are.

If it is not handled so and they only go by percentages and quotas, you are completely right; it will lead to poorer government. But do not forget that everything in Sweden has to be politically correct. If you do not go along this line, you will be considered to be a terrorist and a racist and perhaps more.
17:12 July 29, 2011 by Streja
Everyone knows that women are better drivers as they don't automatically assume that they are the bes drivers in the world like a lot of men.

;)
17:28 July 29, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
@Streja

Where did you invent your statement. You are out of base and should be counted as "Out" in home.
21:46 July 29, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock
How can I put this?

An African born female, with a Muslim mother whose family was allowed into Sweden due to political asylum reasons and is now the holder of an important government job is saying that the Swedish system is unfair to women?

Did I miss something?
00:08 July 30, 2011 by tucanofulano
Yes, that the right way, isn't it? Just ignore whether or not the selected person can actually do the tasks required, right? We have the same bent views held by some in the USA as well - losers, all of them,
00:19 July 30, 2011 by jostein
Just going by the rulers of this country, it is a wonder we still exist.
03:02 July 30, 2011 by conboy
Great to see a thread filled with objective analysis - makes you feel optimstic about the human race
04:35 July 30, 2011 by Smiling Canuk
This is the worse aspect of political correctness. Nobody should be discriminated against because of race or gender, but nobody should get special treatment because of it.

Nyamko, you definately get a failing grade for this proposal.
06:56 July 30, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
To all of you, what has been written about her is the name of the game. Like Gamla Hälsingbock wrote:

"An African born female, with a Muslim mother whose family was allowed into Sweden due to political asylum reasons and is now the holder of an important government job is saying that the Swedish system is unfair to women?"

What is her country of origin? I guess it enjoys a better system that is not unfair to women. So, what in the hell is she doing here?

She is the typical example of ingratitude.
09:07 July 30, 2011 by EUciticen
Every job should be given to the best qualified irrespective of gender, religion, ethnic background etc. Otherwise we fall in discrimination and the so called "positive discrimination" (exp. Gender quotes) is just discrimination.

Avoid any kind of discrimination and we will have job equalitarian society in a natural way. Don´t need to do any action just respects the law.
11:02 August 2, 2011 by Streja
Yes, everyone is created equal except the men who are more equal.
13:20 August 2, 2011 by Sakutu
Everyone is created equal except the women who are more equal.

It is in fact women who are always asking for preferred treatment with "gender quotas" and such, not men.

In the Animal Farm of Orwell the "more equal animals" were the pigs... remember me again who is the one asking for "gender quotas" for women ? Oh yeah, its women ;-)
17:13 August 2, 2011 by hackie
All I can say is that this woman is an ingrate.
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