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Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Monday

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Monday
Sweden's Eurovision star Tusse. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT
Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

The hurdles foreign-born women face in the Swedish job market

Foreign-born young women, particularly from non-European countries, struggle more in the Swedish job market than their peers, a new report by Swedish authorities suggests.

Fifty-two percent of foreign-born women aged 20-29 have a job. That compares to 67 percent of foreign-born men in the same age group, 73 percent of Swedish-born women and 79 percent of Swedish-born men. This is despite the fact that more young foreign-born women have higher education experience than foreign or Swedish-born men, writes the Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society (Myndigheten för ungdoms- och civilsamhällesfrågor, MUCF) in the report, which you can read in Swedish here.

The report lists several potential factors, including that this group of women often look for health and social care jobs which first require training, that they are expected to do more work at home and claim a lot of parental leave. Many do have a lower level of education, and several women interviewed for the report say they often face discrimination to a greater extent than other women, for example if they wear a veil.

Swedish vocabulary: job market – arbetsmarknad

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Sweden lists 131 new nature reserves

Sweden added 131 new nature reserves to its protected areas in 2020, or 159,000 hectares. The Dalarna region in central Sweden got 15, followed by Norrbotten with 14. Skåne in southern Sweden got the largest areas, 59,000 hectares in total, followed by Stockholm with 58,700 hectares – almost all of the latter two are marine reserves.

This means that Sweden now has 5,242 nature reserves, which cover an area of more than 5 million hectares. A nature reserve designation is meant to “protect valuable nature and rare species to preserve biodiversity, but also to ensure people’s access to attractive areas for recreation, outdoor life, bird-watching and other nature experiences”, writes the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket).

Swedish vocabulary: outdoor life – friluftsliv

No, Swedish schools can’t send students home just for wearing face masks

Sweden’s public broadcaster SVT has spoken with Sweden’s Education Agency (Skolverket) after The Local last week interviewed a mother whose 13-year-old son was sent home from school after he refused to remove his face mask. The school said it was following Stockholm’s coronavirus recommendations on face masks, but the infectious disease unit in Stockholm said it had issued no recommendations on masks in schools.

Skolverket told SVT that Sweden’s Education Act does not give schools the power to send students home for wearing or not wearing a face mask. “The only situation really where you can send a student home is if the principal decides on suspension, if that option is needed to secure other students’ safety and studies,” said a spokesperson.

Swedish vocabulary: suspension – avstängning

WATCH: This is Sweden’s 2021 Eurovision entry

Did you miss Melodifestivalen on Saturday? Catch up here: Tousin ”Tusse” Chiza stormed to victory in the song contest that Sweden uses to pick its Eurovision contender, sweeping up a record number of public votes with his rousing anthem Voices.

”Tusse” fled war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, spending time in a refugee camp before coming to Sweden as an eight-year-old. He was the fan favourite, with Voices shooting straight to the top of Spotify’s Sweden streaming chart as soon as the songs which had made the final were released.

“I think it’s basically down to the song,” Tusse said at a press conference after his victory. “It’s down to four people who sat down to work and created something greater than themselves. It’s totally crazy.”

The song won 2,964,269 votes from the public, the most ever received by a contestant in the competition, comfortably beating the previous record of 2,211,811 votes set in 2019 by John Lundvik, who went on to come fifth in Eurovision.

Swedish vocabulary: competition – tävling

Swedish tax season gets under way

Almost five million Swedes may get a tax rebate this year, with the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) set to pay out 37.5 billion kronor (approximately $4.4 billion). But it’s the opposite scenario for around 1.5 million people, who will have 11.8 billion kronor left to pay altogether.

Sweden’s online tax declaration service opens tomorrow. If you file your taxes by March 30th (the final deadline is May 3rd), without making any changes, you may get your tax rebate in April. Everyone else will get it in June.

Swedish vocabulary: tax – skatt


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