International Women’s Day: Women in Gothenburg Demand Equal Pay

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Anna Allard: “In Sweden men earn approximately four thousand more than women..."

Sweden is a developed country. It tops in the top of all indices among all the countries in terms of human development and social progress including equal rights for men and women. The Stefan Löfven government gave a new dimension to its foreign policy by introducing feminist diplomacy, and declared his government has feminist government. During his second term as the Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven has inducted 12 female ministers and only 11 male ministers including himself.

As part of International Women’s Day, commemorated on 8 March every year, a group of women led by Anna Allard, a police officer, gathered at Götaplatsen on 6 March as a manifestation of solidarity for women and demanded equal pay for women.

“In Sweden men earn approximately four thousand more than women and that is obviously in average,” said Anna Allard. “If we have a working (day) between eight o’clock and five o’clock, men are paid for all the hours but women they earn until six minutes past four and after that we work for free, obviously it is an average.”

Women from in and around Gothenburg gathered at Götaplatsen including few men among them and formed themselves in the shape of1606, and waved their hand-held coloured papers, and posed for a photograph taken from the balcony of the City Theatre (Stadsteatern).

In Sweden, women and men are treated equally by the state and by the private sector. How can you say that women are not treated at par with men in terms of pay? She said, “I don’t know. In the rates…in twenty five years I earn as much as men.”

When there is a job advertisement and if a man or a woman is crecruited he or she will get the same pay, isn’t so in Sweden? Anna observed, “No, not always. And also, if you have different jobs, if you have a man and a woman and they have almost the same education and if they have different jobs normally the jobs that apply to women are lesser paid….We don’t have the same wages.”