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Greens propose Women's Day as holiday

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Greens propose Women's Day as holiday
Roses being handed out on Drottninggatan in Stockholm on March 8th 2014 to celebrate International Women's Day. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT
16:40 CET+01:00
Sweden's Green party have proposed turning the annual International Women's Day (IWD) into a public holiday and said that gender equality has gone backwards under the current government.

In an op-ed published in Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet on IWD the party's spokesperson Gustav Fridolin said it should become a red day on the calendar. The editorial was co-signed by Green party politicians Åsa Romson and Gunvor G Ericsson. 

"Sweden continues to be an unequal country. On the boards of listed companies it is still more common to be called Johan than to be a woman. We still have not, unlike all the other Nordic countries, had a woman as the head of government," wrote the Green party members in the op-ed.

Calling on the existing government to pass legislation to have gender balance in the boardroom and stand up more for feminism and LGBT rights around the world, the Greens said a new public holiday would be an ideal start.

"As a symbol of this new start we want to make March 8th a red day," they wrote.

The bid to turn March 8th into a public holiday is one part of the Green party's new political program focusing on equality. Elsewhere in the op-ed they suggested that both sexes should be on equal footing regarding salaries.

"Women had an average of 61,500 kronor  ($9,600) less in net income in than 2013 than men, an increase of 16,900 since 2006," they wrote.

The Greens also made calls for changes to the justice and education systems and for Sweden to be an example for equality in the world.

"Sweden has fallen from first place in 2006 in the World Economic Forum's 'Global Gender Gap' to fourth place in 2013. Iceland, Finland and Norway have all overtaken us," wrote the Greens.

For the Green Party's proposal to become a reality an existing public holiday would have to be scrapped from the calendar and become a regular work day. The party declined to suggest which day should be removed and replaced with International Women's Day.

"This probably means that one of the existing public holidays would become a working day," they wrote in the concluding paragraph.

International Women's Day was celebrated across Sweden on March 8th with seminars, demonstrations and celebrations. The occasion dates back to the start of the 20th century and the UN theme for 2014 is "Equality for Women is Progress for All."

The next public holiday in Sweden is Good Friday on April 18th. 

The Local/pr

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