Monday, June 29, 2009

Big Week for Swedish Politics

Some call it "the rock festival for politics." Almedalen Week (Almedalsveckan) is now underway on the Swedish island of Gotland, an annual festival of political speeches from all of the major political parties in Sweden. Hundreds of journalists descend on Visby for the events featuring local and national politicians, lobbyists and representatives of non-governmental organizations. You can follow the conversation about Almedalen Week on Twitter (there’s a "translate to English" link on the right if you don’t speak Swedish).

On Wednesday, Sweden officially takes over the EU Presidency for six months. says European Commission Vice President Margot Wallström wants "gender equality/women’s rights issues" to be a priority while Sweden is in charge of the rotating presidency.

Eva-Britt Svensson, a Swedish representative in European Parliament, who also chairs the parliament's women's rights committee, expresses doubt on whether gender equality issues can be a top priority while they deal with all of the issues relating to the current economic climate.

Sweden came in second place (along with Finland and Iceland, behind Norway) in a 2008 survey by the World Economic Forum, which ranked countries doing the most to close the gender gap. Sweden was deemed "the most gender equal" country in the world by the WEF in 2007.

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