• Sweden

    Context

    Sweden remains committed to SRHR as a prioritized area within development cooperation and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. SRHR is placed within the areas of gender equality, health, human rights and poverty reduction. In addition, the needs of SRHR within humanitarian settings have received greater focus.

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    Policies & funding

    Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is one of six objectives of the Swedish feminist foreign policy. Among several other SRHR related actions, the 2018 Action plan for feminist foreign policy points out that the Foreign Service “will broaden its strategic bilateral, regional and global partnerships for SRHR so as to further increase the effectiveness of this cooperation”.

    In 2018, a Handbook on Feminist Foreign Policy was launched. The handbook is a resource in international work for gender equality and all women’s and girls’ full enjoyment of human rights. There is one chapter specifically dedicated to SRHR and it is an integrated topic in several other chapters.

    In 2017, Sweden spent about € 114 million on sexual and reproductive health and family planning (SRH/FP) funding, an 8% increase on 2016. Funding to SRH/FP organisations and specific initiatives increased by 45%. Core funding to UNFPA remained stable at €48.7 million. In 2017, Swedish ODA to SRHR increased, stimulated by the launch of She Decides, in which Sweden played a pivotal role. Isabella Lövin, Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister, co-organised the first She Decides conference in Brussels.

    The Swedish budget proposal for 2018 included the country's largest ODA ever, with an increase of SEK 500 million (€48.4 million). This is partly a result of an increase of the Swedish ODA from 0.99% to 1% of the GDI as well as cost reductions related to refugees and asylum seekers. The proposed budget includes increased core support to a number of UN agencies working in humanitarian crises with a special focus on women, girls and SRHR. Over the past years, there has been a steady increase in Sweden’s core contributions to UNFPA. The budget forecast indicates that Swedish ODA levels will increase by SEK 2 billion (€196.3 million) a year in the coming 2 years (2019-20). Sweden held general elections in September 2018, but at the time of writing, no new Government has yet been formed. In December 2018, the Riksdag decided on a framework Budget for 2019.

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    Internationally vocal

    Sweden continues to emphasis SRHR in international conferences and negotiations meetings such as She Decides, Commission on the Status of Women and Commission on Population and Development. Within the EU, Sweden is focused on enabling the EU to take a more progressive stance. In April 2018 the Stockholm Forum on Gender Equality was arranged by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Swedish Institute. The forum brought together more than 700 participants from over 100 different countries. A wide range of themes was covered, including women’s and girls’ SRHR. In connection with the World Health Assembly (WHA) May 2018, Sweden together with few other SRHR-focused donors established a global partnership that is now working to ensure the SRHR is incorporated into the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda.

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    • Key Documents

    Updated January 2019


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