in Sweden, women lag behind

On October 13, 2022, the patrol of good women (“Tantpatrullen”) demonstrated one last time, in Mynttorget Square, near Parliament, before a winter break. Hats and red caps on their heads, they were about twenty to have made the trip, like every Thursday at noon, to ask for a reform of the pension system. Since 2014, united in an association which has several hundred members, they denounce the impoverishment of seniors, and in particular of women, whose pensions are 30% lower than that of men.

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According to the National Pensions Agency (Pensionsmyndigheten), Swedish women received an average of 16,500 gross crowns per month in 2020 (1,463 euros), while Swedes collected 23,600 crowns (2,088 euros). “The difference is slowly shrinking”, says Ole Settergren, chief analyst at the agency. But he admits: “The evolution is very slow and it will take years for the gap to disappear. »

In theory, the pension system, set up in 1994, is not unequal, however, as Arturo Arques, an economist at Swedbank, points out: “It treats men and women equally and guarantees them the same rights. » The problem lies elsewhere, in the fact that women still earn less than men (around 90% in 2021) and that they generally work shorter hours.

sick children

In a pay-as-you-go system, where pensions are indexed to the best fifteen years of salary, as was the case before the 1994 reform, “there were already differences between men and women”, assures Mr. Settergren. They have not disappeared with the adoption of the points system, universal, where each crown contributed opens the same rights.

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After all, women contribute less than men. And for good reason: they more often take care of their sick children (according to the family allowance fund, they receive 61% of the compensation provided for child care, which corresponds to around 80% of the salary). They receive 70% of the allowances provided for in the context of parental leave of four hundred and eighty days, which is nevertheless established so that parents can stay at home for so long. Finally, 27.5% of women work part-time, compared to 11% of men.

Paradoxically, Sweden, world champion of gender equality, has set up a system that turns out to be unequal

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