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Stockholm defends 'gender-equal' snow-clearing

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Stockholm defends 'gender-equal' snow-clearing
Stockholm's authorities were overwhelmed by the snowfall. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT
12:28 CET+01:00
Stockholm's 'gender-equal' snow-clearing policy is not to blame for the traffic chaos which has engulfed the Swedish capital, the architect of the policy has claimed.
“Gender equal snow-cleaning is not to blame here,” Daniel Helldén, the city's Green Party transport head told the Expressen newspaper, stressing that the policy, which prioritises cleaning pavements and cycle lanes over roads, did not even appear to have even been followed. 
 
“There is a lack of gender equal snow-clearing now, according to the reports I'm getting,” he said. “It's still difficult to walk on the pavements - and it is important that snow-clearing prioritises walkways, public transport and cycle paths.”
 
Stockholm's municipal government, a coalition of the Social Democrats and the Green Party, brought in gender equal snow cleaning last year, pledging to make moving around the city on icy winter days just as safe for women as it is for men.
 
Men are statistically more likely to be drivers, while women are more likely to use pavements, cycle paths, and public transport. 
 
But on Thursday and Friday, the policy came under renewed criticism after the city was thrown into chaos by the unusually heavy snow dump, with buses and trains cancelled, and major motorways blocked. 
 
The policy's apparent failure was celebrated with glee by anti-feminists on Twitter, with even the liberal Dagens Nyheter newspaper running a light-hearted article, titled “Nine alternatives to gender-equal snow-cleaning”. 
 
“It's obvious that it hasn't worked, and the question is why,” Helldén admitted. “Is it the weather or the procedures which we in the city have put in place?” 
 
“Overall, I can say that I regret that Stockholmers have not been able to get to their jobs, kindergartens, and schools, but there is not much more to say about it.” 
 
 

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