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Rejected women sue Swedish university

TT/David Landes · 14 Oct 2009, 08:51

Published: 14 Oct 2009 08:51 GMT+02:00

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The women claim they were denied admission into the psychology programme at Lund University in southern Sweden on account of their gender.

They argue that they were passed over in favour of men, who received priority treatment for admission in order to increase the number of men in the programme.

In addition to filing a lawsuit alleging illegal discrimination against the university, the 31 women have also reported the Equality Ombudsman for failing to carry out its responsibilities as the arbiter of discrimination claims in Sweden.

According to lawyers Gunnar Strömmer and Clarence Crafoord with the Stockholm-based Centre for Justice (Centrum för rättvisa), which has agreed to assist the women in the Lund case, the ombudsman refused the case because of a similar, ongoing case involving the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet – SLU).

SLU was found guilty of discrimination by the district court in Uppsala for having given preferential treatment to men seeking admission to the school’s veterinary programme.

But the ruling has been appealed by the state and is set for a new hearing later in the autumn.

According to Strömmer and Crafoord, the ombudsman “is undermining” discrimination protections for college applicants.

“Workers have unions to go in and help them pursue discrimination cases, but who is going to help young people who are discriminated against when they apply to colleges if the state’s own ombudsman against discrimination doesn’t do it,” they write in an opinion piece published on Wednesday in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

Story continues below…

The two conclude that, “because in reality DO thinks it’s good to choose students based on gender – having equal numbers of each gender is a more important goal than equal rights and opportunities regardless of gender”.

According to a study carried out by the Centre for Justice, 5,400 college applicants in Sweden were subject to gender discrimination in 2009, with women being negatively affected in 95 percent of the cases.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:32 October 14, 2009 by xenyasai
I wonder what their grades were and when they applied. Usually those with best grades (and experience) is favoured first.
10:36 October 14, 2009 by Osokin
Ah ... equality is a one way street eh ? For university is equal rights regardless of gender, but for company directories, political parties etc there are quotas to be met. You can't have the cake and eat it darling...
11:04 October 14, 2009 by bubbagump
This is the logical conclusion of favoring a gender neutral policy in Sweden. The women are upset because they were the "best choice" based on academic grounds allegedly. However were passed over in the name of equality. How in the world can they be upset when women are the ones who pushed so hard for this kind of policy? Every year there are articles written and complaints filed because a business board has only 45% women and 55% men, wanting the selection to be weighted in favor of gender.

Oskokin already said it, but just had to restate it.

I say to these unfortunate women, welcome to the world your predecessors built for you. I hope you now see that these policies are idiotic and discriminatory. Too bad it took a group of women to be discriminated against before the govt. would look into it. However, based on past experience, they won't make the connection that there is the same discrimination against men and it is equally idiotic. Case in point, speech again certain ethinic groups is considered free, while speech against other ethnic groups is hate. There is a disconnect in liberal philosophy. What is good for the goose has no bearing on what's good for the gander.
11:20 October 14, 2009 by sherkovic
alas! so much for the gender equality claims of swedes....
12:17 October 14, 2009 by KamiZ
lol if they give the women admission and cancel the admissions of the men then the men have a case of gender discrimination too. that they were passed iover in favour of women
12:33 October 14, 2009 by just a question
but who the hell wants to study the psychology programme?

Go for a real job, you idiots.
13:11 October 14, 2009 by apostolos1975
@just a question

actually psychology leads to very, VERY well paid job. Its almost on the same level like doctors. This is why all the bitching about being excluded in favor of someone else :)
13:12 October 14, 2009 by Beynch
Strömmer and Crafoord are on thin ice here. While the story does not appear to provide all details, it is easy to conclude that the University applied its normal admissions standards, and that these `aggreived` women are using the legal system, and claims of discrimination for the furtherment of their own ends. Not unlike what the poisonous, treasonous, ACLU would resort to in the United States. Strömmer and Crafoord of course are receiving their own, not accidental, publicity.
14:52 October 14, 2009 by RoyceD
...why not make the first year class bigger and then make the requirements to continue on to second year based on where you came in the class?
17:00 October 14, 2009 by mkvgtired
I am sure they were ok with the decades of discriminating against more qualified men in the name of equality. If the program was lacking women, and more qualified men were rejected to make way for these women I can guarantee they would not be complaining. Welcome to the world of a white male in most parts of the West. You can be more qualified, yet you are discriminated against based on your gender and race. Sorry sweetheart, life isn't fair. In fact it is not fair mostly because of idiotic policies endorsed by liberals that place a heavier weight on race and gender than on merit. Congratulations, I'm sure you voted for the same people who favor (and pass) these policies. Equality is great until something is taken from you and given to someone else in the name of it.
17:05 October 14, 2009 by Beynch

Congrats on well written blurb. I couldn't have said it any better. Thank you.
00:48 October 15, 2009 by jag2009
Just get over it.

Just like you need a number of black police officers and white police officers.

May aswell sue everything and everyone.

This is just one of these "oh we are anti, so lets just make a stupid point"
08:17 October 15, 2009 by bubbagump

You can't increase the size of the class when the education is free to the students. It's called rationing. The illusion of getting something free. It's free for those who have the opp to get through the narrow door. Here's a thought. Since we pay for each student who goes to University here in Sweden, why not democratize it and let us vote on each new class :-)
14:14 October 16, 2009 by justanotherexpat
@mkvgtired - inspired!

"Welcome to the world of a white male in most parts of the West."
18:29 October 16, 2009 by DamnImmigrant
I agree. The shoe usually hurts when it is on the other foot.
19:34 October 16, 2009 by tadchem
In the US the Progressives also mistook numerical parity for equal opportunity, probably because it is easier to count heads than to objectively assess opportunities. We still are fighting that "reverse discrimination" battle.
01:32 October 17, 2009 by Uncle
Freaking hell! It is about equality isn't it? Whenever women do not get their affirmative action in the IT or engineering courses - they run to the court. On the other hand when guys ARE getting the affirmative action in psychology/sociology/philosophy and other programmes that are the "science of obvious" and taken mainly by women - they also run to the court to claim their own.

These dumb biiiatches do not get that in 10 years they will be moaning that there are no guys in their job and therefore they are discriminated socially and therefore they are earning below what they are worth... THEY are creating the division of genders. THEY are decreasing their future salaries. THEY are creating precedents to cancel the affirmative action in favour of women in "male" courses. THEY are blocking the road to women to the army/firefighting/police etc.

I say - cancel all affirmative actions in all unies. Let women get into their psychology/sociology - programmes out of which about 20% get real jobs and cancel affirmative action in IT/engineering/finance/sciences. Let's see who again will eat all the crap from too much feminist fire.
13:36 October 19, 2009 by the nuke
Wonder when politicians will realise that the law that protects against inequality and the law that protects against discrimination are mutually exclusive. If you follow one, you break the other, and vice versa. This is the problem with Swedish idealism - it's based on the assumption that no one will notice the inconsistencies. But now women have discovered they have balls and are starting to use them to stand up like a man and claim their rights! Yehaw! This country is so wonderfully and amusingly confused...
15:27 November 12, 2009 by Swati
hi i am babar khan from pakistan currently enrolled in a masters program offered at SLU Uppsala.I think the government is not fair with swedish people and students.Its the right of swedish nationals first to get addmission and than international students.If u are talking about marks swedes are not bound to compete the whole world. The government should realise that and preferrence should be given to the swedes first other wise they have a logical reason to hate us.And as far as gender conflict is concerned every one has their means to act against the injustice.But i have seen may be i am wrong but 70% of the students at SLU are chicks
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