Sustainable Pressure for “Women-Friendliness” in Sweden



This paper describes how Swedish women argue and act in order to improve their quality of life. It is based on a citizen survey and on interviews with leaders of a broadly defined women's movement. The thesis is that women are in the process of developing their own democratic practice. They thereby challenge the assumption that general suffrage and numerical equality of representation are sufficient conditions for transforming the contemporary gender power order into one characterized by equality of power between women and men. The empirical data show that there is a great deal of variation in perceptions of problems and ways of accomplishing change. The existence of somewhat different priorities and plural feminist strategies for change—state feminist, interest group–based, civil, and segregated—are interpreted as speaking in favor of the sustainability of such pressure for “women-friendliness” in Sweden.