In many respects, Sweden is maybe the country where public policies to increase the equality between men and women have been most prolonged and advanced. In 1996 the UN declared Sweden to be the most gender-equal country in the world. However, women still take much more responsibility for children and domestic work than men do, leading to the reproduction of gender inequality in the labour market and in society at large. A causal mechanism is used to analyse this phenomenon, starting from the observation that men are on average three years older than women and thus already have a stronger position on the labour market when a heterosexual couple is formed. This increases the risk that the woman will lose the first negotiations on how to divide household and wage labour when they have children. This will in turn lead to increasing returns for the man, increasing the risk that she will lose subsequent negotiations about the division of labour. What seems to be a rational arrangement for both (increasing the total income for the family) results in the reproduction of gender inequality. The analysis shows that gender inequality in a country like Sweden is reproduced behind the backs of the agents.