European & International News

Swedish elections: Feminist Party on the rise, 0,9 % more votes needed to meet threshold

[Brussels, 15 September 2014] Yesterday, national and regional elections took place in Sweden, and the polls indicated that the first ever feminist party, Feminist Initiative in Europe could enter the Swedish parliament. During the evening it became clear that this would not happen; the party got 3,1% and didn’t make it over the 4% threshold.

The Swedish Democrats, the extremist right wing party, did on the other hand a surprisingly successful election reaching 12,9% and is now the third largest party. The party is using immigration topics to mainstream a clear racist and misogynist ideology into the Swedish society, but in disguise. By addressing conservative, gender role segmenting policies, addressing policies hampering women’s economic independence – all under the parole of “gender equality policy” and using an extenuative rhetoric on immigration politics, the party are not seen for its true colors. Just to mention two of their gender equality policy proposals are for instance: 1. that the children shouldn’t be experimented upon by gender theories in school, 2. no to shared parental leave.

Feminist Initiative was formed and announced in 2005, running for election for the first time in 2006 but receiving less than 1%, with the same low results in the elections 2010. This year has been a turning point for the party getting one mandate in the European Parliament with 5,3%, and an increased with 2,7% since the last elections. The party also took place in 13 regional parliaments across Sweden with a total of 27 mandates.

“We have to roll up our sleeves and continue with our work. We’ve done a fantastic election campaign and created a whole new movement, which is great”, says one of three party leaders and founder of the party, Gudrun Schyman.

“A Feminist party as the Feminist Initiative in Sweden is important in the Europe context as it highlights the lack of the other parties seeing gender equality and women’s rights as an integral part of all their policies and to include the needs of the majority of the population into their actions. The feminist initiative is putting the urgent issues for women on the table of the Swedish politic. This has been clear in the election campaign; the existence of the Feminist Initiative has brought up issues on gender equality and women’s rights onto the election agenda“ says Policy officer Serap Altinisik at the European Women’s Lobby.



Soraya Post, Member of the European Parliament of the Feminist Initiative

Pharrell Williams and Gudrun Schyman

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