Thursday, May 17, 2018

ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE AND PARTICIPATION IN DECISION-MAKING 3/9


3.1 Economic and Political Power In terms of the entire labour market, women earn 87 % of what men earn, when all pay is recalculated to full-time. Pay differentials are most pronounced in the county councils. The smallest difference is among blue-collar workers. According to Statistics Sweden’s bi-annual report on gender equality, published in 2016, only 6 % of CEO positions in listed companies were filled by women, and 5 % of board chairpersons and 29 % of board members were women. Across private and public sectors, the report showed that 37 % of managers were women, compared with 62 % for the public sector.9

Despite robust laws in place for male child care, in reality, many women work part-time along with carrying the main responsibilities for child-care which can have an adverse effect on women reaching top level positions. In 2016, Statistics Sweden detailed that women still take over 80 % of given parental leave days. In light of the fact that more women than men work part-time, take longer parental leave and care for sick children, the differences between women's and men's annual income becomes even higher: women earn 81 % of what men earn. When working life comes to an end, women receive on average 67 % of what men receive in pension funds.


3.2 Participation in Decision-Making Sweden has one of the world’s highest representations of women in parliament. After the 2014 elections, 43.6 % (152) of the 349 seats were allocated to women. At present, in total 12 of the 23 government ministers are women.11 It has been suggested there has been a knock-on effect in Swedish politics in regards to women gaining seats in political
                                               

Several institutional, socio-economic and cultural factors factors might have contributed to the development of women’s representation in Sweden. Moreover, “the system of proportional representation (party list system) coupled with the early development of the Swedish welfare system, women’s opportunity to study and gain employment, low fertility levels and secular/protestant religious affiliation are of great importance explaining the high level of women in Swedish parliament.”13 Despite this, Sweden remains the only country in Scandinavia which has not seen a female Head of State. 

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