24 January, 2019

International Women’s Day

اليوم العالمي للمرأة

The International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on March 8. This day is a public holiday in many countries and largely ignored in many more. In some places it is a day of protest and in others, it is a day to celebrate womanhood.  


The earliest Women’s Day observance was held in New York in 1909. It was soon followed by other countries to promote equal rights, including the right to vote. By 1911, over a million people in Europe and with around 300 demonstrations, women demanded to be given the right to vote and to hold public office. They also protested against employment sex discrimination. It wasn’t until 1975 that the United Nations began celebrating the International Women’s Day. 

IWD Today 

This year, the International Women’s Day theme is Balance for Better where the main goal is to create a gender-balanced world. The IWD doesn’t work only one day a year. It is a yearlong work in process that promotes continuous and collective action.

According to IWD “Collective action and shared responsibility for driving a gender-balanced world is key. International Women’s Day is a global day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – while it also makes a call to action for accelerating gender balance.” There are many ways to be involved and you can find more information here

IWD in Sweden 

Sweden is well known for being a progressive country in many ways and their gender equality system is one of them. From having the first woman in government in 1947, three months paid maternity leave in 1955 and having the first woman in a high position at the UN in 1970. However, plenty of work is yet to be done and many more goals need to be achieved.  

IWD in Sweden Today

On the State of government Policy of 21 January 2019, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven made important remarks regarding many of the issues that are still being worked on such as:

  • Women and men must have equal opportunities to support themselves and control their own lives. Special attention will be paid to women’s establishment in the labour market. 
  • There will be a particular focus on ill health among women. There will be new investments in ambulance care, cancer care and maternity care.  
  • A century ago, the Riksdag took the first of two decisions that gave women and men equal suffrage. The best way to honour those who showed the way in the fight for democracy is to continue their work in a new era. 
  • It also mentions the interest of Sweden in protecting the rights of women and minorities around the world and strengthening the role of women in peace processes. 

The road ahead

Even when Sweden has increased the economic equality between genders, a pay gap still remains a problem. There are many reasons that can explain this. From differences in profession between woman and man, the 16:02 issue and working part-time can all influence the pay gap difference, gender seems to still play a part on it. The Discrimination Act states that employers and employees should work actively for equal pay as well as promote equal opportunity for women and men to receive a pay raise.

We are the change

IWD is not just a day a year but a year full of actions that will help to improve the life of women all around the world.  From our friend, our mothers or colleagues. We all know women who are outstanding.  Tell us about them and how you do your part to make this a better and balanced world.

Useful links 

International Women’s Day – Official page with plenty of information and many ways to be involved during this year’s work.  

The Swedish Women’s Lobby – A politically and religiously independent umbrella organization for women’s organizations in Sweden. Their work is to achieve full human rights for women and a gender equal society within Sweden, the EU and internationally. 

Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom Sweden – WILPF Sweden is involved in a variety of different projects focused on disarmament, conflict prevention, and women peace & security through lobbying, information and advocacy among other issues.  

Sweden & Gender Equality – A fantastic infographic of the current situation of gender equality in Sweden 

Gender Equality in Sweden 

Act on violence against wome

10 Swedish Superwomen 

Sweden’s Discrimination Act 

Anniways – A fantastic blog by a Newbie and her view as a feminist in Sweden. 

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The Newbie Team
The Newbie Team posts news, tips and general goodness that can be useful for all Newbies. We always try to find Newbie related information that will help all Newbies on their new life in Sweden.
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