Gender equality initiatives in the Spring Budget for 2021

Published

The Government has proposed gender equality initiatives in the Spring Budget for 2021. The proposal is based on an agreement between the government parties, the Centre Party and the Liberal Party.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about serious consequences for lives and health. The crisis facing Sweden and the entire world is without parallel in modern times. At the same time, there are other problems lingering in the shadow of the crisis, such as unemployment, exposure to violence and other types of vulnerability, where children and adults who are already at risk suffer greatly. The Government therefore proposes a series of initiatives focused on supporting people subjected to violence and children in vulnerable situations.

Civil society important for children in vulnerable situations and people subjected to violence

Voluntary organisations carry out vital activities during the COVID-19 pandemic while at the same time suffering greatly from the crisis and its economic consequences. The Government proposes allocating an additional SEK 90 million in 2021 to organisations working with children in vulnerable situations and with women, children and LGBTIQ people who are victims of violence; it will also go to organisations working to end men’s violence against women, domestic violence and honour-related violence and oppression

The aim of the funding is to support these organisations, which are forced to adapt or enhance their support activities to meet increasing or changing needs due to the pandemic. The proposed aid is a continuation of an earlier initiative.

In addition to the initiative for children at risk and people subjected to violence, the Government also proposes allocating SEK 50 million to strengthen civil society’s social and humanitarian activities for society’s most vulnerable people.

More resources for work against violence and oppression

The Government proposes allocating SEK 37 million to initiatives to strengthen work against men’s violence against women, domestic violence, prostitution and human trafficking. Additional support to young people at risk of domestic violence is also proposed.

Preventive action is important – the violence must stop

The pandemic brings into focus the need for improved preventive action aimed at preventing violence from occurring or recurring, and protecting and supporting those at risk. The Government sees a need for early preventive action. This pertains to young people and older people alike, with the aim of stopping violence from occurring or recurring. The Government recently presented the Government Bill ‘Prevention of domestic violence’ Prop. 2020/21:163 to the Riksdag. Funds are now being allocated to governmental agencies to support preventive action at municipal level.

Detecting violence at an early stage and modifying the behaviour of those who subject or have subjected a close relative to violence or abuse are important steps in preventing domestic violence. For this reason, funding will go to activities such as the Välj att sluta (Choose to Stop) telephone helpline, which is intended for people who want to change a violent behaviour in a close relationship.

Increased vulnerability in prostitution and human trafficking

Vulnerability in prostitution and human trafficking has increased during the pandemic and it is important to strengthen preventive action and support initiatives to provide at-risk people the protection and support they need and are entitled to. With additional resources, the Swedish Gender Equality Agency can strengthen the initiatives within the framework of its national coordination remit to combat all forms of human trafficking and provide additional skills support to professionals. The Swedish Gender Equality Agency co-finances the regional coordinators in social services working to fight prostitution and human trafficking. They conduct outreach and give support to vulnerable people.