Through Her Eyes: Sweden

Sweden women are blessed to live in one of the highest-ranking gender-equality countries in the world. They make up 48% of the workforce, ranking them the largest percentage of workingwomen in the world. Swedish citizens are very humble, and it would be a rarity to hear one bragging but forgetting to use your P’s & Q’s might offend them.

Roles Men doing the dishes?!? That’s a norm in Sweden. Women and men in Sweden share a majority of household responsibilities as men are expected to contribute to chores such as cooking, cleaning, and childcare. Between a mother and father they are entitled to 480 days of parental leave.

Education Sixty percent of undergraduate students are women, making up the majority while 2/3 of all degrees are awarded to women.

Women in Power Forty seven percent of parliament positions are held by women and a majority, 52%, of ministerial positions are also held by women.

Issues One of the most pertinent issues women face in Sweden is dealing with the highest rape rate in all of Europe. Even with the title of one of the most gender-equality countries in the world, women’s monthly salaries are 94% of men’s when differences in choice of profession are taken into consideration. One third of women in the country also still work part-time.

I Do Men and women in Sweden are in no rush to tie the knot; the average age of marriage is 35 for men and 32 for women, even with the legal age of marriage at 15. However, the divorce rate in the country is just as high as that of America. Women are not shy to approach a man or initiate a conversation, and they wouldn’t think twice about paying for the check in a restaurant.

Good Grub Reindeer for dinner? Not unusual in a Swedish household. Game dishes accompanied by fresh vegetables are normal for an average family meal. One traditional dish in the country is made up of meatballs and gravy covered with a tart, pungent lingonberry jam. Delish! Of course, the typical food choices of pizza and hot dogs can also be found.

Threads Businesswomen can be found stepping out in conservative suits or business dresses. You most likely won’t see a Swedish woman out in yoga pants, however, as it is highly important for them to dress well in public at all times.

Religion Sweden is home to the largest Lutheran church of over 7 million followers. Other religions include Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist.

Speak to Me The official language of the country is Swedish, but Saami and Romani are also widely used.

Rugrats Sweden is home to some of the best rights in the world for caring for children. In Sweden you can find well-built systems of child care and geriatric care, gender neutral parental insurance, generous school opening hours, and family friendly environments everywhere from restaurants to trains.  The average children per household is 1.97


About Ohio U Women's Center

The Ohio University Women’s Center serves and responds to the needs of OU women students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the community. Founded in 2007, the center is dedicated to creating an inclusive and welcoming campus climate for all members of the community through programs, resources, referrals, advocacy, and education. Located in Baker University Center 403.
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