Sweden has reclaimed its top position as the world’s best country for women in 2020, as per the CEOWORLD Magazine’s annual report. It had topped the other countries in the same category back in 2017.
This Scandinavian country in Europe has always beguiled people from all over the world for ages. But why?
The best reason why Sweden leaves the other countries behind is its persistent gender equality policy. Sweden stands out in keeping the objective and its pertaining tasks rolling. Women will find here zero compromises in equal benefits.
Starting from the country’s picturesque views to its splendid governing policies, Sweden has it all for the women’s survival.
More than 250,000 women from 156 countries have voted Sweden as their favorite country in the CEOWORLD’s survey based on 9 major attributes.
Let’s talk about the substantial 9 reasons why Sweden has been crowned the best country for women in 2020.
1. Sweden Advocates Gender Equality
The government of Sweden has been relentless about speaking as well as ensuring gender equality throughout its system.
The minister for gender equality Åsa Lindhagen’s message to the world is, “The Government is working to increase gender equality at all levels, to strengthen children’s rights, to combat violence in close relations, and honor-related violence and oppression.”
According to a website of the Government Offices of Sweden, the country’s gender equality concentrates on the following issues:
- Physical Integrity
The Swedish government is sincere about recognizing women’s equal rights in every sphere of life.
The minister for gender equality focuses on drawing significant business leaders’ attention to this major subject.
Since the modern world essentially depends on economic growth, it’s crucial to the Swedish government that women contribute to this area significantly.
Sweden’s Budget Bill for 2021 aims to identify and diminish men’s aggression against women, oppression, honor-based violence, women trafficking, and prostitution.
2. Swedish Government Accounts for Women’s Safety
When half of the world, including the first world countries, are genuinely taking concern on women’s safety and struggling to ensure it, Sweden has gained the trust of most women around the world regarding their well being.
The Swedish government has always led the European, especially the Scandinavian countries, in women’s safety.
Gender violence has been in the Swedish government’s primary concern for centuries.
The country’s first law against gender violence was established back in 1250. The measure for women’s social security ensued in the 19th century with equal inheritance, and in the 20th century with its equal pension rights.
Women’s health security is a significant concern in Sweden. The National Board of Occupational Safety and Health is highly instructed to efficiently monitor and take action on women’s health security at workplaces.
3. Sweden Provides Women with High-Income Opportunity
The Economist reported that Sweden was the best working country for women in 2017. Why so?
It’s because Sweden advances from many other developed countries in Europe and even the United States to compensate women for their labor.
According to Statista, women’s payment for their roles and responsibilities at the workplace has risen to 96% of the male counterpart in a timeline of 2014-2019. Although the 4% deficit is a concern, you wouldn’t find better compensation to date elsewhere.
4. Sweden Facilitates Parental Leave Generously
Why wouldn’t you consider Sweden the most generous of all European countries when it has so much to offer parenthood?
The Swedish government offers free or subsidized prenatal care to pregnant women. The government also provides for the individual child a monthly allowance until it reaches the age of 16.
You’ll enjoy a further privilege from the government, which is a 480-day shared parental leave. It’s the highest parental leave in days where fathers would share a 90-day leave to develop the initial bond with his newborn child.
The best part is, this total leave is enjoyable at an 80% regular pay. And what more, the mother enjoys an additional 18-week leave during her motherhood!
Sweden leaves behind Iceland and Serbia in second and third places respectively regarding parental leave policy.
5. Swedish Government Monitors Equal Payment Policy Strictly
If you take the work-compensation policy in Sweden, you’ll find it the most favorable scale and structure for the modern women. Swedish law decrees equal work and equal payment.
Sweden doesn’t only commit to this subject; instead, its government goes on to substantially monitor, review, and take action about it regularly.
The Anti-discrimination department of the Swedish government passed the Swedish Discrimination Act in 2008. This Act compels companies with 25 or more employees to provide annual surveys on pay differences.
The annual survey report from each company should thoroughly contain the analysis of the existing gap between men and women’s payment. The companies not taking measures to abridge the compensation gap are subject to penalty.
6. Sweden Allows Women Higher Ranks and Positions
You will understand the Swedish government’s women empowerment agenda by observing its role-playing opportunities for women.
Women hold 46% of the parliament seats and other significant positions in the political arena.
Though women’s business roles are still hindering, it’s immensely more generous than the European average of 23%. Women are entitled to 39% of managerial and 38% of board member positions all over Sweden.
The government emphasizes women’s further ranking in important roles, given those roles are executed by women with safety against abuse and violence.
7. Women’s Education is A Privilege in Sweden
Education is one of the primary instruments that Sweden facilitates from the early ages of a woman.
The primary education goes into a girl’s life almost at an equal rate as a boy. Upper primary levels may decline until before post-secondary education.
A Statista report in 2020 shows that 33% of women have gained post-secondary or college education, whereas men shared 22% of it. Women have pocketed almost two-thirds of college diplomas in Sweden.
8. Sweden Accommodates Best Child Raising Environment
The Forbes had published a list of 35 Best and Worst Countries to Raise A Family under the ForbesWomen division in July this year, ranked Sweden number 3.
The country had left Canada at 19, other European countries in between the gap, and the U.S. at 34 in this category!
Recently, The U.S. News and World Report have mentioned that Sweden is among the safest countries in parental leave, preschool care, and public education systems.
Besides, children’s health is carefully maintained in Sweden by ensuring healthful foods for them. On the contrary, American children intake most sugar-added food items yearly.
As a woman, you should be at peace projecting your plan in Sweden when planning for your family ahead of time.
9. Sweden is The Best Choice for Green Living
It’s admittable that a country’s living condition works regardless of the gender difference. But when you consider the worldwide pollution and food-preservatives risking the women’s health more and more, Sweden’s green living policy counts.
Sweden has ranked 8th in the 21 Greenest Countries on Earth race, but it holds the number one position in The Country Sustainability Ranking.
The Swedish people practice purchasing sustainable and recycled products more than new ones. It pioneered the carbon tax policy for oil and gas in 1995, which is still operative.
Both men and women are encouraged to help in recycling household commodities. That’s why 49% of these items go to recycling, while about 50% of household garbage results in combustion for fueling the power plants.
Sweden promotes utilizing renewable energy while partnered with its neighboring countries to save the Baltic Sea for a pollution-free and healthy ecosystem.
World’s Best Country for Women: An Argument Against Sweden
Keeping all the right things assured by the Swedish government for women aside, a question that’s made many concerning people frown at is sexual assault on women.
Rape and physical abuse have borne the liability of women’s harassment, if not the system’s stigma. The Swedish court of law had redefined rape as ‘sexual intimacy without consent’ in 2018, intending to decrease the rape attempts and cases.
Instead, the conviction rose to 333 in 2019 from 190 in 2017. The rise in cases was concerning, but The National Council on Crime Prevention reported that it’d made space for the victims to open up more about their perilous experiences.
Reuters says the conviction rate has risen 75% in the following years of redefining the law in 2018.
Now, before we give a final thought, based on the above discussion…
The Swedish government had declared itself a feminist government long ago, and evidently, it’s striving to fill every niche of the shelf ever since.
The above 9 factors are substantial reasons why Sweden thrives on being the world’s best country for women and their overall living conditions.
If you’re qualified in terms of education, skill, and experience, Sweden will have a place for you, too, given its statutory rules and regulations.
There may be some areas where the country’s government is still eyeing for improvement, but eventually, it has to offer you a lot more than other European and Western countries.