Moderate women demand more top posts

Sweden's Moderate Party has too few women in its upper echelons, according to female members who have demanded 40 percent of the top positions in the party by 2010.

The motion has been presented in advance of the autumn party conference.

Of the 92 Moderates who chair Sweden’s councils, barely a quarter are women, the party’s own study has shown.

“Appalling,” commented Magdalena Andersson, who is a member of parliament and chairs the Moderate Women group.

“I am convinced that out there in the country there are just as many capable, clever, competent women as there are in parliament, in the party board and in the party leadership. It’s time for some serious equality work,” she told Svenska Dagbladet.

Andersson said she hopes that the whole party would back the far-reaching demand. Party secretary Per Schlingman told SvD that the Moderates would set targets for a better gender balance and that he thinks it is “great” that women are pushing the issue forward.

“I think that their ambition is completely fair, and in many assemblies and boards we are living up to it already,” he said.

“On the other hand there are a number of challenges. In the whole organisation we must see people as the individuals they are and not from a gender perspective.”