• Sweden

    Context

    Sweden remains committed to SRHR as a prioritised area within development cooperation and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    In January 2019, a new minority government consisting of the Social Democrats and the Green Party was voted in. In the Government’s Statement on Foreign Policy 2020, the new Minister for foreign affairs Ms. Ann Linde stated that the Government will continue to prioritise safeguarding and protecting SRHR.

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    Policies & funding

    Sweden was the first country to implement a Feminist Foreign Policy, starting in 2014, and it features SRHR as one of six objectives. In 2018, a Handbook on Feminist Foreign Policy was launched. There is one chapter specifically dedicated to SRHR and it is an integrated topic in several other chapters. The 2020 Action plan for the feminist foreign policy points out that the foreign service will work for everyone’s access to SRHR in all relevant forums. The 2020 action plan included stronger language than ever on SRHR in humanitarian settings.  

    Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic the Government has made clear that the pandemic has not changed the core elements of the Swedish Feminist Foreign Policy and ODA. Holistic and human rights-based approaches, equal health, gender equality and SRHR will remain key priorities. The importance of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and health systems strengthening is emphasised. Together with South Africa, Sweden mobilised a high-level joint statement signed by 58 states, for protecting SRHR and Promoting Gender-responsiveness in the COVID-19 crisis

    In 2019, Sweden dedicated 0,96 % of its GNI to ODA, making the country the largest donor in proportion to the size of its economy. The Swedish budget proposal for 2019 included a significant allocation to ODA; SEK 54.7 billion (around € 5 billion). In 2019, Sweden spent about € 130 million on sexual and reproductive health and family planning (SRH/FP) funding, a 12% decrease compared to 2018.  Over the past decade, there has been a steady increase in Sweden’s core contribution to multilateral organisations, including for UNFPA, to which Sweden commits funding over a 4-year period. The contribution 2018-2021 to UNFPA is SEK 2.46 billion (around € 240 million), a total increase of 24% compared to 2014-17.  The observed decrease of overall funding to SRH/FP in 2019 is henceforth due to lower core contributions as part of these changeable multiannual pledges. Sweden's contribution to the Global Fund (2019 pledge for 2020-22)  is Sweden’s second-largest in the multilateral context. Violations of SRHR were put forward as key reasons behind the contribution.

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    Internationally vocal

    Sweden continues to emphasise SRHR in international conferences, initiatives and negotiations. This includes the SheDecides, Commission on the Status of Women and Commission on Population and Development. Sweden is focused on enabling the EU to take a progressive stance on SRHR. Sweden remained vocal on gender and SRHR throughout the negotiations on the EU longer term budget (MFF) and the Gender Action Plan III. In 2018-2020, Sweden, together with like-minded states and actors, has been leading the global work aiming at making sure that SRHR is integrated into the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda, including into the political declaration of the UN High-Level Meeting on UHC in 2019. At the ICPD Nairobi Summit in 2019 Sweden committed to remaining at the forefront and keep pushing for SRHR for everyone at all levels and continue emphasising SRHR for everyone, including young people and LGBTI people. Sweden also committed to continuing its strong financial support to SRHR.

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    • Key Documents


    Updated January 2021

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