How Sweden’s Feminist Party Is Changing Europe

by Olivia Harrison

Imagine living in a country run by a feminist political party. Sounds sweet AF to me. Well Scandinavia, a place I imagine to be a progressive haven, is unsurprisingly leading the way in what The BBC is calling “the feminist political resurgence in Europe.” The party, called Feminist Initiative (FI), was founded in Sweden in 2005 and launched in neighboring Norway this past spring. Norway’s demand for a feminist party started to increase about two years ago due to growing anger over government proposals to give doctors more power to refuse abortions (commence eye roll).

Though the party now holds a seat on the European Parliament, before September 2014, FI was a largely unrepresented minor party. According to FI activist Malin Nordqvist, “getting the momentum rolling in a society that views itself as equal is a huge issue.” That’s definitely something I understand even as an American feminist, though I bet it’s especially hard in a part of the world that people idealize for being a progressive haven (just like I did in the first paragraph of this piece).

Swedish FI founder Gudrun Schyman says despite challenges, the movement is growing, and new FI groups are popping up in other European countries including Denmark, Finland, Spain, and Poland. There are also ongoing discussions about starting similar projects in Britain.

According to Schyman, the party’s greatest achievement in the past 10 years has been “keeping gender equality questions on the agenda.” FI hopes to continue to grow with a promising new wave of young people across Europe looking for gender equality. With them, FI can “turn pink into a regular fixture alongside red, blue, yellow, and green on the political map.” I like that idea.

For more information on Feminist Initiative click HERE.

Via BBC and Open Democracy

Images via

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