Swedish Women Win in Parliament but Not in Boardrooms

Summing up the situation, Borgström concluded the key challenges that Sweden faces are the poor female representation in the boardrooms and the salary gap, although adding that the most important issue is the unequal responsibility for children.

Child Care Biggest Issue Dividing the Sexes

"Without the sexes taking equal responsibility for child care, we are never going to see full equality," he said matter-of-factly.

In Sweden, fathers and mothers receive a joint parents' allowance of paid leave for 480 days to stay home with their newly born child, but only about 20 percent of fathers make use of the benefit. Therefore, Borgström wanted a new law that prescribed that both parents do it as it would be beneficial, not only for the child and the parents, but for society, he said.

"As long as employers know women are going to be away more, they are going to invest more in men. That is understandable," Borgström said.

But as long as that remained unchanged, women will keep getting lower wages, lower pensions, less interesting tasks and fewer chances to compete, he continued.

"Men have a special responsibility. If you belong to the privileged group in society, which has been superior to the other and you see that, you have a special responsibility to contribute to change," he said, blaming the slow progress on passivity.

"I suggest men assess the situation, decide if they think it is fair, and then ask themselves what they could do," he said, adding that the way forward was to "talk, talk, talk about it."

"Ultimately, it is about what kind of society we want," he said, "or if we want to have one at all."

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