Quota database relaunched at the UN headquarter

On 8 March 2010, the Global Database of Quotas for Women was relaunched at the UN headquarters by the International IDEA’s Office of the Permanent Observer to the UN, who was hosting a panel discussion to mark the International Women’s Day. The seminar, entitled “Getting the Numbers and Balance Right – Perspectives on Global Quotas” is being organized jointly by Stockholm University, International IDEA and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). Read more

Gender and Power in the Nordic Countries (Kön och makt i Norden)

Gender and power is one of the main themes of the Nordic Council of Ministers during 2006 to 2010 and the Nordic Ministers of Gender Equality have decided to finance a project on gender and power in the Nordic countries. NIKK (The Nordic Gender Institute) has been appointed to carry out the project.
Drude Dahlerup and Christina Alnevall have been appointed to conduct the research on gender and power in politics in Sweden. Read more

Ph.D Project: On the Meanings Attached to Body and Building in Parliamentary Politics

The aim of Anneli Gustafsson’s Ph.D project is to study what has often come to be seen as the surface, or the non-political of parliamentary politics; the body (i.e. the somatic bodies of the parliamentarians) and the built environment. The image of parliament politics as a purely intellectual activity among paradoxically ‘bodiless’ ideas, will be contested. So will the image of the building as a neutral facilitator of this activity.

By combining political science with performance studies and architectural theories etc., Gustafsson intends to raise questions of what kind of themes, positions and identities are produced through the encounter between different bodies and the parliament building. She also intends to pose questions of what implications this might have on democracy in terms of equality and availability to political spaces and places. How are political values such as trustworthiness, responsibility, competence and power to act, constructed in a very physical, somatic and ritualised way? Why do the combinations of dark suits and massive political buildings seem so compatible and ‘natural’, for instance? How do people need to adjust themselves in order to fit in as responsible and competent politicians? How does gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity, age etc. matter in these processes? What kind of femininities or masculinities could be considered as a resource in parliamentary politics, and what kind may not? How does this change over time?

The empirical case study focuses on the Swedish parliament. However, an additional aim is to develop methods that could later be used for studying the meanings attached to body and built environment also in other countries and other parliaments.

Comparing Denmark and Sweden

In 2008, Danish women got the right to vote and stand for election to the reformed local councils. The first election took place 1909. As part of the centenary celebrations a research based publication will be issues. For this book Drude Dahlerup is preparing a comparison between women in local politics in Denmark and Sweden. In previous articles Drude Dahlerup has compared contemporary equality discourses and politics in the two countries and found astonishing differences. See the latest article: “Ligestillingsforståelser i svenske og danske partier – er en borgerlig ligestillingspolitik under udvikling”.

The Swedish Instrument of Government from a Gender Perspective. The Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reform.

Dr. Lenita Freidenvall has made an analysis of the The Swedish Instrument of Government (1974) from a gender perspective within the framework of the remit of the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reform, a cross-party parliamentary committee.

The primary focus and aim of the Committee’s work will be on strengthening and deepening Swedish democracy, increasing citizens’ confidence in the way democracy functions and increasing voter turnout. The remit therefore involves conducting an evaluation and review of the entire electoral system and the provisions regulating the process of government formation and the relationship between the Riksdag (Parliament) and the Government in general. The remit also includes a review of the legislative framework governing referendums.

Furthermore, the Committee will examine issues relating to the review of legality and whether there is a need for a constitutional court. In this context the Committee will examine whether there is a need to clarify the role of the courts in the constitutional system. The Committee’s remit additionally includes looking into the possibility of increasing the transparency of appointments to senior posts in public administration.

The Committee is to propose constitutional amendments and other legislative changes it deems warranted. The Committee is to report its findings no later than 31 December 2008.

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Paperback on quotas

An easy-to-read booklet on gender quotas is under production for the Swedish SNS publishing house. The book, which is written in Swedish, is to be issued in February 2008. The book is part of a series of paperbacks from SNS, written by researchers for a general audience.

Research network: DEMDI

Multidimensional Equality and Democratic Diversity (DEMDI) is an inter-disciplinary Nordic researcher network funded by NordForsk for the three-year period 2009-2011. The objective of the network is to consolidate and develop the field of research on Equality Politics and Democratic Diversity. Four network seminars for senior and junior scholars are to be organised by the four national teams. The kick-off seminar entitled Citizenship, Gender and Democratic Diversity will take place in Aalborg, Denmark 12-13 March 2009. The coordinators of the four national teams are: Birte Siim, Denmark, Kevät Nousiainen, Finland, Hege Skjeie, Norway and Lenita Freidenvall, Sweden.

Feb 2009

Research project: Project Beijing + 15

In relation to the Swedish EU Presidency in the autumn of 2009, the unit for gender equality at the Ministry of Integration and Gender Equality has been given the task of analysing the follow-up of the Beijing Platform for Action, Beijing + 15. The work is headed by Director Marianne Laxén, and an expert group of Justices of the Supreme Administrative Court, researchers and statisticians has been tied to the project. Ph. D. Lenita Freidenvall, Stockholm University, has been appointed co-ordinator of the research group. (Feb 2009)


Beijing + 15: The Platform for Action and the European Union - Report from the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union (2009)

Download the report (181 p) (2506 Kb)

The official document adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing 1995 is called the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action for Equality, Development and Peace (PfA). The PfA is an agenda for women’s empowerment that reaffirms the fundamental principle whereby the human rights of women and the girl child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights. As an agenda for action, the platform seeks to promote and protect the full enjoyment of all human rights and the fundamental freedoms of all women throughout their life cycle.

The report Beijing + 15: The Platform for Action and the European Union is the third review of development at the EU-level in relation to the 12 critical areas of concern of the PfA, building on the follow-up by the EU in 2000 and on the report from the Luxembourg Presidency in 2005.

The report is based on the Council Conclusions on the follow-up of the Beijing PfA since 2005 and on information provided by the Member States in their answers to the UNECE questionnaire sent out in January 2009.

The report has been realized under the supervision of the Ministry for Integration and Gender Equality in Sweden and Director Marianne Laxén has been responsible for its compilation. An expert group of researchers has contributed to the analysis: Maria Eriksson, Department of Sociology at Uppsala University, Lenita Freidenvall, Department of Political Science at Stockholm University, Annica Kronsell, Department of Political Science at Lund University, Anita Nyberg, Centre for Gender Studies at Stockholm University, Malin Rönnblom, Department of Gender Studies at Umeå University and Barbro Wijma, Division of Gender and Medicine at Linköping University. Lenita Freidenvall, Stockholm University has been the co-ordinator of the research group.