Best practices

Two best practices on how to increase women participation.

From: BalticFem

Example 1.

Name of the action: Every second a lady (Varannan damernas)

Key words: Women, politics, alternate lists, gender equality and municipal politics.

1. Identification

Region/Country: Sweden

Entity: Social Democratic Party, Norrtälje

Type of entity: Political party

Address: Galles gränd 5, 761 21 Norrtälje, Sweden

Telephone: +4617614408

E-mail: info@sapnje.se

Web: http://socialdemokraterna.se/norrtalje

Contact person: Hanna Stymne-Bratt

Position: Chairwoman

2. Description of the action

Name of the action: Every second a lady (Varannan damernas)

Starting up point:

In the parliament the women representation was 1970 13% and then steadily increased to 38% until the election 1988 where the number was remarkably reduced.
That lead a strong female network to bring up the question if the solution to achieve a better representation of women in politics, i.e. increased gender equality in politics, should be gender quotation or a women’s party.
The answer from the established parties in the election 1994 was ”Every second a lady”. Several parties’s then had ballot papers with every second name a womans name.
The election result were that ”Every second a lady” increased women’s participation to 40,2%. Several parties represented in the Parliament dispute who was the first to apply this new method to increase womens participation in politics. ”Every second a lady” has become a national pride and a norm.
On local level the same methodology was used and also greatly increased womens participation in politics. It continues to this day to be used.

Aim of the action and expected results

To increase womens representation in politics to at least 40% of elected officials. This aim was achevied in the election 1994 and today we have a representation which is 47,3% women and a goal wich is 50/50.

Action and methodolgy employed

Alternating list is to put a womans name on every second line on the ballot paper.

Participant entities

Political parties on all levels. predomenantely the liberal party and the social democratic party.

Replicable actions

This method is replicable to all democratic systems where parties introduce their representatives up for elections on lists (ballot papers).

Comments

Every second a lady has proven to be a good tool when it comes to increasing womens representation in politics. It is though by no means ”the final solution”.
As an example we refer to the academic dissertation from 2008 by Micael Nilssson at Linköping Univeristy – Changing Gender Regime – Gender Equality and Power in Local Politics from 1970 to 2006.
The aim of the dissertation was to examine women’s and men’s access to quantitative and qualitative political power in the municipality of Norrköping between 1970 and 2006. The method chosen was to analyse the substructure underlying political leaders’ ability to govern.
The premise of the inquiry was that an unequal distribution of genuine power between women and men in politics depends on gender-based power structures as well as the relationship between politicans in leadership positions and male employees in leading positions in the municipal administration.

Example 2.

Name of the action: Well developed childcare

Key words: Women, childcare, politics, gender equality

1. Identification

Region/Country: Sweden

Entity: Norrtälje Municipality

Type of entity: Municipality

Address: 761 28 Norrtälje, Sweden

Telephone: +46 176-710 00

E-mail: pyrethsb@hotmail.com

Web: www.norrtalje.se

Contact person: Hanna Stymne-Bratt

 

2. Description of the action

Name of the action: Well developed childcare and parental insurance

Starting up point:

Why were there more women in politics?
It is during the last thirty years as the major breakthrough occurred for women in Swedish politics. There are several reasons why it is so.
As an explanation it is customary to mention Sweden’s proportional electoral system as well as strong and positive womens organisations, both party and non-partisan. Other important factos are the development of the Swedish welfare state, and that women have greater opportunities to work outside the home.
Of great importance is that most parties in Sweden have sought a better gender balance in elected assemblies.

Aim of the action and expected results

All parents that demand childcare will have one place allotted within 3-4 months. Children from 3 years will be guaranteed a place in pre-school.

Action and methodolgy employed

The municipalities are responsible for a developed childcare and today childcare is placed in the department of education as a way in a held together pre-school. This makes it possible to for all women (not only wealthy) to work outside of the home and commit to politics etc.
It is important that a parent in need of childcare for their children will have it as soon as possible. In some cases a too long wait will mean that the parent will have to turn down a work offer. Therefore it is reasonable that the municipality will offer childcare within three months from the application. If the municipality does not live up to this some sort of sanction should be put in place – for example compensation equivalent to 80 percent of the cost the municipality normally have for a place in the childcare payed out to the one applying for a place in childcare.

Participant entities

Practically implementing: the Municipalities
Law to make it obligatory: Government and parliament

Replicable actions

A combination of – the need of children (pedagogic) and need of parents (someone to look after the children when they are working)

Comments

In Sweden pre-school is comprised of children from 1-12 year. Until 1996, child care was part of social policy and the Ministry of Social Affairs was responsible for this, but it then moved on to issues Ministry of Education and became a part of lifelong learning.

Varukorg

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