Sweden remains committed to SRHR as a prioritized 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 his Government declaration, Prime Minister Stefan Lövén stated that SRHR remains a top priority for the Swedish feminist foreign policy. Similarly, during her Statement of foreign policy in the Riksdag, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms Margot Wallström, said that Sweden “will continue our extensive support to sexual and reproductive health and rights, for example by funding initiatives for legal abortions, contraceptives and sex education”. This commitment has repeatedly been confirmed by the new Minister for International Development Cooperation, Mr. Peter Eriksson.
Policies & funding
Sweden was the first country to implement a Feminist Foreign Policy, starting in 2014, and it features sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) as one of six objectives. The 2019 Action plan for Feminist Foreign Policy points out that the foreign service will work for everyone’s access to SRHR in all relevant forums, including the UN, its funds and programmes, and in humanitarian crises. 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 2018, Sweden dedicated 1,04% of its GNI to ODA, making the country the largest donor in proportion to the size of its economy. The Swedish budget proposal for 2018 included a significant allocation to ODA; SEK 49 billion (around € 4.8 billion). In the 2019 proposal, ODA increases to SEK 50.7 billion (€ 4.9 billion). In 2018, Sweden spent about € 131 million on sexual and reproductive health and family planning (SRH/FP) funding, a 13% increase compared to 2017. 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.
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). In 2018-2019, 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. 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.
- Swedish Foreign Service action plan for feminist foreign policy 2015–2018 including focus areas for 2018
- Swedish Foreign Service Action Plan for Feminist Foreign Policy 2019-22 including focus areas 2019
- Feminist foreign policy
- The Handbook on feminist foreign policy (2018)
- The regional policy strategy for SRHR in Sub- Saharan Africa – prolonged to 2021
- Sweden - Every Women Every Child Commitment
Updated January 2020
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- European Institutions
- United Kingdom