Reinfeldt blocks gender quotas for top jobs

The government is to retract the previous administration's goal of ensuring that 50 per cent of all top management jobs in state bodies go to women.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, currently in the process of reviewing the criteria for public sector appointments, has ruled out gender quotas as one of the variables, Svenska Dagbladet reports.

“We have in various contexts been opposed to extensive quotas as a method,” Reinfeldt told Svenska Dagbladet.

Former equality minister Mona Sahlin is disappointed that Reinfeldt’s government will not continue the policy begun by the Social Democrats in 2003.

“The state has a real possibility to do something. The state has plenty of competent people.

“It is strange that as soon as women start coming in people talk about competence, but never when it’s just men.

“It is a lazy attitude. Sometimes politics should be used to steer, not just to passively look on,” Sahlin told Svenska Dagbladet.

But critics claim that the previous government was never serious about the policy.

“They put men in all the major state bodies. And then they boosted the result by putting women at the smaller bodies,” said political expert Magnus Kolsj√∂, advisor to minister for local government, Mats Odell.

Despite lacking a formal goal, Odell is adamant that the government will strive to be equitable .

“But of course we will continue to maintain that it is very important to have a balance of various different aspects, gender being an important example,” said the minister.