Sweden most gender equal country in the EU
The Local · 14 Jun 2013, 10:57
Published: 14 Jun 2013 10:57 GMT+02:00
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According to the Gender Equality Index, Sweden is the most advanced country in the European Union when it comes to equality between men and women.
The index measures gender equality on a scale of 1 to 100. While the average score for the 27 EU member states was 54, Sweden got 74.3 points.
Denmark and Finland scored 73.6 and 73.4, respectively.
The index was compiled by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), which reviewed gender equality in six core domains: work, money, knowledge, time, power and health.
Sweden achieved its highest rating (93.1) in the area of health, which focused on differences between men and women in terms of health status and access to health structures.
The EIGE report listed some of Sweden's initiatives to promote gender equality since 2005, including a plan to promote gender mainstreaming in all government offices.
The plan made each minister responsible for gender equality in his or her policy area, while Sweden's minister for gender equality is responsible for overarching measures.
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The report also mentioned Sweden's Discrimination Act and Action Plan on Gender Equality Policy, both introduced in 2009.
Since 2011, Sweden has also appointed a Domestic Violence Coordinator and a Delegation for Gender Equality in Work.
EIGE developed the index to provide a tool for assessing how far member states are from reaching complete gender equality.
"[The Gender Equality Index] enables each member state to evaluate and compare amongst each other the progress they've made in various fields of gender equality, as well as where progress is most needed," Michael Gustafson of Sweden's Left Party said in the report.
Gustafson, who is the chair of European Parliament Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, also said that he hopes the tool will be used extensively in the future as it can help advance gender equality.