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Publicist replaces Sabuni as equality minister

Published: 21 Jan 2013 10:30 GMT+01:00

At a press conference on Monday morning held at government headquarters Rosenbad, the prime minister and the deputy prime minister introduced Maria Arnholm of the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet), who replaces Nyamko Sabuni as she steps down from her job as equality and integration minister.

Between 1991 and 1994, Arnholm was chief of staff for Bengt Westerberg, the Liberal Party minister who introduced the "daddy month" (pappamånad) that only men could take off when they became parents.

"I was proud and happy to work with Westerberg when the reform took place," Arnholm said on Monday.

"We now have two daddy months but we also have the equality bonus, and I want to wait and see how that plays out before making another move."

Although her predecessor last week announced it was time to discuss whether legislation was needed to make the Swedish business world more gender equal, Arnholm said it was time for "dialogue and conversation".

"It's remarkable that everyone thinks inequality is horrible but nothing happens," she said.

Arnholm, born 1958, said she had been aware of inequalities between men and women since her teenage years in Gothenburg during the 1970s.

She has been Sabuni's top aide since 2012.

Before returning to politics, she was the CEO of a PR and marketing company as well as head of communication at the food cooperative Coop, among other jobs.

Although Sabuni had previously said she would step down before the 2014 parliamentary elections, her resignation on Monday was unexpected.

Her replacement was "the most probable choice," said Maria Crofts, senior political reporter at the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

Crofts said Arnholm's appointment as top aide in 2012 was probably part of preparing for her to take over.

Arnholm, she said, had a long history of political engagement both within the Liberal Party and gender equality questions.

Arnholm's former boss, Bengt Westerberg, welcomed the appointment.

"She's the one who convinced me that we should introduce the daddy month so I hope she'll pursue it further," he told TT.

TT/The Local/at

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Your comments about this article

13:14 January 21, 2013 by Jes
Sabuni will surely not be missed by immigrants from Burundi , Congo or Africa in general . She forgot where she come from and never cared when asylum-seekers from this region get mistreated during their deportation . Thank God that there are a few Swedes that stepped forward to do what Sabuni failed or refused to do while she could .
14:03 January 21, 2013 by CJ from Sunshine Desserts
I learned a new Swedish word today "entledigats", meaning removed or dismissed. Every day something new.......
18:10 January 21, 2013 by intrepidfox
@1

She was neutral and represented Sweden not Africa. She actually did a good job.
18:38 January 21, 2013 by k2kats
What experience, if any, does the new appointee have with inequities beyond gender?
19:24 January 21, 2013 by Hamsterdam
As Minster for integration she was responsible for giving the Swedish Democrats an unhindered path into politics. The greatest political failure in an age.

As Gender equality minister, she isn't even a feminist.

Now she went because she has been boning the tepid Rheinfeldt.

Well done love
02:10 January 22, 2013 by prince T
Are u a sex pervert @hamterdam. Sabuni was neutral as a result of identty crisis she was suffering from. She was loved neither by swedes nor immigrants. I dont think fredrick will fancy her. I do not know abt björklund
12:26 January 22, 2013 by Jes
#4 , Obama is the President of USA . He is loved and respected by many Americans of all races because he shows that he cares . Inspite of his current position in life , he still attends black churches , and identifies with and relates to African-american culture .Sabuni did neither . no wonder she got stuck in the middle .As @prince has remarked , she suffers from an identity crisis of her own making . A am told that this happens a lot to black women who get marriade to white Swedesh men . Is is generally allaged that some of them develop a superiority complex. I doubt if this is correct
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