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Women and men in Sweden 2012:

Gender equality in Sweden treading water

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2012-11-06 9.30

Today Statistics Sweden is publishing the booklet "Women and Men in Sweden - Facts and figures 2012”. It provides an illustration of daily life for women and men in Sweden from a gender equality perspective.

An important gender equality issue is to make it possible to combine parenthood with gainful employment. One way to measure this is to look at the use of taking advantage of paid parental leave. Men continue to increase taking paid parental leave, but women still take the largest share of parental leave days. In 2011 women took 76 percent of the days and men 24 percent.

The Time Use Survey shows that women and men spend the same amount of time on work (all days of the week included). Men are paid for their work to a greater extent than women, who spend more time on unpaid housework. Over the last 20 years, women have reduced their time spent on unpaid work by slightly more than one hour per weekday. At the same time, men have increased their unpaid work by 8 minutes.

One in three employed women and one in ten employed men work part-time. Women's working time is influenced by the number of children and the age of the child, but men's working time is not affected by this.

Occupational sex segregation

Of all employees, only 13 percent of the women and 12 percent of the men have occupations with an even distribution of the sexes. Among the 30 largest occupations, only three of them have an even distribution of the sexes, that is, at least 40 percent of each sex. These occupations are chefs and cooks, doctors and university/higher education teachers.

Large differences in pay among certain occupational groups

Roughly 1.5 million people are employed in the ten largest occupational groups. In nine of these groups, men have a higher monthly salary than women. The exception is the group for health care staff where women have an average monthly salary of SEK 23 000, which is SEK 200 more than men. Men who are business professionals have the highest salaries in the ten occupational groups. Their salaries average SEK 45 400 per month. Women in the same occupational group have a salary that is nearly SEK 9 000 lower. All salaries are calculated as full-time salaries.

Women have a higher education than men

Women are generally more educated than men, women take more parental leave than men, women work part-time to a greater extent and women have lower salaries than men. The total income from employment for all ages is lower for women than for men.

Women fear being subjected to crime

29 percent of women aged 16–24 and 22 percent aged 25–44 often or rather often choose another route or transport method because of fear of being subjected to crime. The corresponding figure for men in the same age groups is 5 percent.

Men have voting rights on boards, women are deputy members

On the boards of fully owned or partly owned government companies, 39 percent are women and 61 percent are men. No women have these positions in the four public service companies, while 4 percent of these positions in listed companies are held by women. Looking at all the limited companies in Sweden, 12 percent of the chairpersons of the board are women and 88 percent are men.

Of all women who are on boards of limited companies, 61 percent are deputy members. The corresponding figure for men is 21 percent.


The full publication is available on Statistics Sweden's website.

Women and Men in Sweden – Facts and figures 2012

Feel free to use the facts from this statistical news but remember to state Source: Statistics Sweden.

Statistical agency and producer


Helena Löf

+46 10 479 67 64