Concluding observations on the tenth periodic report of Sweden *
* Adopted by the Committee at its eightieth session (18 October to 12 November 2021 ).
1.The Committee considered the tenth periodic report of Sweden (CEDAW/C/SWE/10) at its 1819th and 1820th meetings (see CEDAW/C/SR.1819 and CEDAW/C/SR.1820), held on 22 October 2021.
2.The Committee appreciates the submission by the State party of its tenth periodic report, which was prepared in response to the list of issues and questions prior to reporting (CEDAW/C/SWE/QPR/10). It also appreciates the State party’s follow-up report to the previous concluding observations of the Committee (CEDAW/C/SWE/CO/8-9/Add.1). It welcomes the oral presentation by the delegation and the further clarifications provided in response to the questions posed orally by the Committee during the dialogue.
3.The Committee commends the State party on its multisectoral delegation, which was headed by State Secretary to the Minister for Gender Equality and Housing, Ministry of Employment, Karin Strandås, and included representatives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Employment, the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Education and Research and the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva.
4.The Committee welcomes the progress achieved since the consideration in 2016 of the combined eighth and ninth periodic reports of the State party (CEDAW/C/SWE/8-9) in undertaking legislative reforms, in particular the adoption of the following:
(a)Amendments to the Discrimination Law, requiring employers to promote gender parity in management positions, in 2017;
(b)The law on sexual offences, which places lack of consent at the centre of the new definition of rape, in 2018.
5.The Committee welcomes the State party’s efforts to improve its institutional and policy framework aimed at accelerating the elimination of discrimination against women and promoting gender equality, such as the adoption or establishment of the following:
(a)The action plan to combat prostitution and trafficking in human beings, in 2018;
(b)The national strategy to prevent and combat men’s violence against women, which went into effect 2017.
6.The Committee welcomes the fact that, in the period since the consideration of the previous report, the State party ratified the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189) of the International Labour Organization, in 2019.
C.Sustainable Development Goals
7. The Committee welcomes the international support for the Sustainable Development Goals and calls for the realization of de jure (legal) and de facto (substantive) gender equality, in accordance with the provisions of the Convention, throughout the process of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Committee recalls the importance of Goal 5 and of the mainstreaming of the principles of equality and non-discrimination throughout all 17 Goals. It urges the State party to recognize that women and men bear equal responsibilities in the realization of sustainable development and that women and men should be considered equally as driving forces of the sustainable development of the State party, and to adopt relevant policies and strategies to that effect.
8. The Committee stresses the crucial role of the legislative power in ensuring the full implementation of the Convention (see A/65/38 , part two, annex VI). It invites the Riksdag (parliament of Sweden), in line with its mandate, to take the necessary steps regarding the implementation of the present concluding observations between now and the submission of the next periodic report under the Convention.
E.Principal areas of concern and recommendations
9.The Committee commends the State party for its advanced social model, characterized by social redistribution, high unemployment benefits and a large public sector. Noting that it is combined with a competitive economy and a dependable welfare system, as well as low unemployment and poverty rates, the Committee considers the Swedish social model a strong basis for gender-responsive coronavirus disease (COVID-19) responses and recovery strategies, including under the NextGenerationEU recovery plan. However, the Committee is concerned about the prevalence of gender-based violence against women, including domestic violence, and the feminization of poverty, disproportionately affecting women and girls belonging to disadvantaged and marginalized groups and facing intersecting forms of discrimination, across the territory of the State party.
10. In line with its guidance note on the obligations of States parties to the Convention in the context of COVID-19, issued on 22 April 2020, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Consolidate the Swedish social model throughout the State party as a driving force for sustainable change and use it as a catalyst for implementing measures in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic to redress pre-existing gender inequalities by placing women and girls at the centre of recovery strategies in line with the 2030 Agenda, paying particular attention to unemployed women and women living in poverty, women belonging to ethnic or national minorities, Sami women, older women, women with disabilities, migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women, and lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons;
(b) Take action to ensure that in the context of restrictions on freedom of movement, sanitary measures and post-crisis recovery plans, women and girls are not relegated to domestic and other stereotypical gender roles;
(c) Review its strategies to ensure that all COVID-19 crisis response and recovery efforts, including the State party’s emergency measures, effectively prevent gender-based violence against women and girls; guarantee the equal participation of women and girls in political and public life and in decision-making in the context of recovery efforts and in economic empowerment and service delivery; and are designed so that women and girls benefit equally from stimulus packages, including financial support for unpaid care roles, that are aimed at mitigating the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic;
(d) Ensure a central and strategic role for the principles of equality and non-discrimination in the allocation of funds under the NextGenerationEU recovery plan.
Visibility of the Convention, the Optional Protocol thereto and the Committee’s general recommendations
11.The Committee remains concerned that the provisions of the Convention, the Optional Protocol thereto and the Committee’s general recommendations are not sufficiently known in the State party, including by women themselves. The Committee also notes with concern the continued lack of references to the Convention in court decisions in the State party.
12. Reiterating its previous recommendations ( CEDAW/C/SWE/CO/8-9 , para. 13), the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Develop a sustainable strategy, including by allocating adequate financial resources, to disseminate the Convention, the Committee’s jurisprudence under the Optional Protocol thereto and the Committee’s general recommendations among all stakeholders, including women’s organizations;
(b) Continue raising awareness among women about their rights under the Convention and corresponding remedies, targeting in particular women belonging to disadvantaged groups, including Sami, Roma, migrant, asylum-seeking and refugee women and women with disabilities;
(c) Promote capacity-building programmes for judges, prosecutors and lawyers on the Convention, the Optional Protocol thereto, the Committee’s general recommendations and its views on individual communications and inquiry findings, to enable them to invoke those instruments before domestic courts and interpret domestic legislation accordingly.
Constitutional framework and definition of discrimination against women
13.The Committee remains concerned that the Discrimination Law, owing to its restricted list of prohibited grounds of discrimination, does not comprehensively address intersecting forms of discrimination against women.
14. Reiterating its previous recommendations ( CEDAW/C/SWE/CO/8-9 , para. 15), the Committee recommends that the State party amend the Discrimination Law in order to cover all internationally recognized prohibited grounds of discrimination and ensure that it contains a definition of discrimination against women in accordance with article 1 of the Convention, covering intersecting forms of discrimination against women.
National machinery for the advancement of women
15.The Committee commends the State party on its gender mainstreaming and its commitment to gender-responsive budgeting. It welcomes the establishment of the Swedish Gender Equality Agency, established to contribute to an effective implementation of Swedish gender equality policy. The Committee, however, notes with concern the insufficiency of the human, technical and financial resources allocated to the Agency.
16. The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen the monitoring role of the Swedish Gender Equality Agency, including in the collection of data and conducting of qualitative research, and provide it with sufficient human, technical and financial resources to effectively carry out its mandate to promote and protect women’s rights.
National human rights institution
17.The Committee welcomes the statement made by the delegation indicating that the State party has decided to establish a national human rights institution.
18. Reiterating its previous recommendations ( CEDAW/C/SWE/CO/8-9 , para. 21), the Committee recommends that the State party establish an independent national institution in accordance with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles), with a broad mandate in the area of human rights, including women’s rights and gender equality. It also recommends that, once operational, the national human rights institution should apply for accreditation to the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions.
Temporary special measures
19.The Committee remains concerned at the low number of women in leadership positions in academia, in senior management positions and on the boards of private companies. It notes with concern that the representation of women among new board of directors members is decreasing, with only 9 per cent of chief executive officer positions held by women, and that only 25 per cent of senior management positions were held by women in 2020.
20. Reiterating its previous recommendations ( CEDAW/C/SWE/CO/8-9 , para. 23), the Committee recommends that the State party make use of temporary special measures, in accordance with article 4 (1) of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation No. 25 (2004) on temporary special measures, and provide incentives such as gender scorecards, strengthen targeted recruitment and set time-bound goals and quotas in all areas covered by the Convention where women are underrepresented or disadvantaged in both the public and private sectors, including in private companies, in order to significantly increase the number of women who are chief executive officers, the number of women who are members of boards of directors and the number of women who hold senior management positions. The Committee also recommends that the State party implement temporary special measures to accelerate equal participation by women belonging to disadvantaged groups, such as migrant women, older women, women with disabilities, Sami women, Roma women, lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons and refugee and asylum-seeking women.
Stereotypes and harmful practices
21.The Committee notes that child and forced marriages and polygamy are illegal in the State party. However, the Committee is concerned about:
(a)The result of a national survey on women and girls abducted in the name of so-called honour, revealing that in 2019, 172 children living in the State party had reportedly been subjected to early marriage;
(b)Reports of polygamous marriages registered with the Swedish Tax Agency.
22. Recalling joint general recommendation No. 31 of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women/general comment No. 18 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (2019) on harmful practices, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Ensure that cases of child and/or forced marriage are investigated effectively, that perpetrators are prosecuted and adequately punished and that women and girls in such unions have access to protection, including adequate shelters and support services, and strengthen awareness-raising campaigns on the negative effects of child and/or forced marriage;
(b) Enforce legislation prohibiting polygamy by investigating, prosecuting and punishing perpetrators, and raise awareness about the discriminatory nature and harmful effects of polygamy.
Gender-based violence against women
23.The Committee welcomes the adoption, in 2016, of the 10-year national strategy to prevent and combat men’s violence against women, its accompanying programme of measures for 2017–2020, and the forty-point package of measures presented in 2021 by the Government to intensify work on preventing and combating men’s violence against women. It commends the State party on its law on sexual offences, of 2018, which places lack of consent at the centre of the new definition of rape. The Committee notes that the State party also addresses new forms of gender-based violence against women, particularly in the online sphere. It further notes the information provided by the delegation during the dialogue that a permanent national and cross-sectoral competence centre against violence and oppression in the name of so-called honour is being established. The Committee nevertheless notes with concern:
(a)The increase in reported cases of gender-based violence against women and girls, including sexual and domestic violence, and the increased risk for such violence during the COVID-19 pandemic;
(b)The insufficient availability of places in shelters for victims of gender-based violence in the State party;
(c)The reported high prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace and educational settings despite the repeated initiatives of the State party to combat this trend;
(d)The low prosecution and conviction rates in sexual violence cases, resulting in impunity for perpetrators in sexual violence cases;
(e)The lack of comprehensive and updated statistical data on femicide;
(f)The overall lack of disaggregated data on gender-based violence against women and girls, in particular with respect to women belonging to ethnic or national minorities, women with disabilities and migrant women.
24. Reiterating its previous recommendations ( CEDAW/C/SWE/CO/8-9 , para. 27), and recalling its general recommendation No. 35 (2017) on gender-based violence against women, updating general recommendation No. 19, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Strengthen and fully implement the current strategy in place to combat gender-based violence, including sexual and domestic violence against women and girls, including women and girls with disabilities, by incorporating the knowledge and use of algorithms to prevent gender stereotyping and by linking the strategy to the prevention of suicide and substance abuse and to the action plan on parental neglect, with clear goals and mechanisms for prevention, monitoring and follow-up;
(b) Ensure the availability of specialized, inclusive and accessible shelters for women and girls who are victims of gender-based violence, taking into account their specific needs;
(c) Ensure that victims of sexual harassment in the workplace and in educational settings have access to effective remedies, strengthen the accountability of employers for sexual harassment in the workplace, encourage employers to regularly review their company culture, and ensure the creation of a whistle-blower hotline for reporting sexual harassment;
(d) Strictly apply the law on sexual offences and other relevant legislation to ensure that all sexual violence cases are investigated and that those responsible are prosecuted and adequately punished, and provide mandatory training for prosecutors, the police and other law enforcement officials and promote training for members of the judiciary on gender-based violence as grounds for international protection and on gender-sensitive investigation and interrogation procedures;
(e) Specifically criminalize femicide and expedite the adoption of comprehensive measures to prevent, combat and punish all forms of gender-based violence against women, and ensure that adequate human, technical and financial resources are allocated for their systematic and effective implementation, monitoring and assessment;
(f) Ensure the collection and analysis of data, disaggregated by age, nationality, country of origin, disability and the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator, on gender-based violence against women and girls.
Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution
25.The Committee welcomes the efforts by the State party to prevent and combat trafficking in persons, in particular women and girls, including through international cooperation and awareness-raising initiatives. The Committee is nevertheless concerned about:
(a)Reports of women and girls being trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labour or forced criminal activities, including begging, especially among the Roma population;
(b)The lack of disaggregated data about the number of women and girls who are victims of trafficking;
(c)The increased number of girls who are victims of sexual violence carried out by adolescent perpetrators, and about most traffickers having the same nationality as their victims. The Committee also underlines that having been a victim of sexual violence is one of the indicators for becoming a potential victim of trafficking for sexual purposes and that, with social media being the major platforms of contact between young people and, therefore, of potential perpetrators and victims, those are the places where girls and young women are recruited, and where their sexual services are sold;
(d)The low number of investigations and prosecutions of reported cases of trafficking, which may result partially from the fact that women who are victims of trafficking risk deportation if they are undocumented or in an irregular situation, discouraging them from reporting and seeking victim assistance services;
(e)The lack of sufficient specialized shelters to accommodate women and girls who are victims of trafficking;
(f)The increasing demand for prostitution and the lack of information on the measures taken by the State party to reduce it.
26. Recalling its previous recommendations ( CEDAW/C/SWE/CO/8-9 , para. 29), and its general recommendation No. 38 (2020) on trafficking in women and girls in the context of global migration, the Committee encourages the State party to continue its pioneering role and innovative approaches in addressing trafficking of women for sexual exploitation, as well as its efforts to reinforce international, regional and bilateral cooperation with countries of origin, transit and destination to prevent trafficking. It also recommends that the State party:
(a) Address the root causes of trafficking by enhancing educational and economic opportunities for women and girls and their families, in particular among the Roma community, thereby reducing their vulnerability to exploitation by traffickers;
(b) Strengthen its efforts to improve data collection on victims of trafficking, disaggregated by sex, age, country of origin, nationality and form of exploitation, and ensure adequate protection, support, rehabilitation and reintegration services for them;
(c) Raise awareness, including at school and among families, about the risks of trafficking, including the recruitment of victims through social media, and strengthen online policing as a tool for prevention and investigation;
(d) Continue strengthening its efforts to combat trafficking, and prioritize the prevention of trafficking and retrafficking , protection of victims and prosecution of perpetrators by, inter alia, granting temporary resident permits to victims of trafficking irrespective of their willingness or ability to cooperate with the prosecution authorities and ensuring that immigration and deportation laws and policies do not deter migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from reporting crimes of trafficking or undermine efforts to prevent human trafficking, to identify or protect victims or to prosecute perpetrators;
(e) Increase the number of accessible shelters and safe houses, in both urban and rural areas, and of counselling and rehabilitation services across the State party and allocate adequate funding to civil society organizations that provide shelters and support services for victims of trafficking and exploitation of prostitution;
(f) Address the root causes of prostitution, such as poverty and structural gender inequalities, as well as the demand for prostitution, and adopt targeted measures to protect women in vulnerable situations from being exploited in prostitution, including by providing women who wish to leave prostitution with exit programmes and alternative income opportunities.
Equal participation in political and public life
27.The Committee notes that following the 2018 national, regional and municipal elections, 43 per cent of members elected to municipal councils were women. However, the Committee notes with concern that:
(a)Only 43 per cent of all municipal chief executive officers, 32 per cent of mayors and 29 per cent of regional chief executive officers are women;
(b)The Swedish Gender Equality Agency reported that women generally faced more barriers than men to participating in elected bodies and political parties;
(c)According to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, women politicians often receive sexist comments, and that 32 per cent of women elected to the Riksdag and at regional and municipal levels stated that they had received threats and were the victims of harassment during the 2018 election year.
28. Reiterating its previous recommendations ( CEDAW/C/SWE/CO/8-9 , para. 31 ) , and recalling its general recommendation No. 23 (1997) on women in political and public life, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Continue to take targeted measures to maintain its achievements in ensuring a high rate of representation of women in political and public life in the Riksdag and at the regional and municipal levels. The Committee also recommends that, in doing so, the State party pay particular attention to underrepresented groups of women, such as Sami women, Roma women, women with disabilities and lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons, among others;
(b) Adopt prevention strategies and programmes to address gender-based violence that women experience online and offline in public discourse;
(c) Strengthen measures to prevent harassment of and threats against women politicians and candidates, including by requiring all political parties to develop policies to promote gender equality and combat harassment, and also strengthen the liability of social media companies for such unlawful user-generated content.
29.The Committee welcomes the measures taken by the State party to prevent and reduce statelessness, including of women and girls, and the fact that the State party has granted nationality to more than 22,000 stateless persons since 2014. However, the Committee notes with concern that approximately 14,000 stateless persons, including many women and girls, are currently living in the State party. It further notes with concern that children, including girls, who are born stateless in the State party must apply for citizenship before reaching adulthood.
30. Recalling its general recommendation No. 32 (2014) on the gender-related dimensions of refugee status, asylum, nationality and statelessness of women, the Committee recommends that the State party adopt legislative and policy measures for the reunification of families and ensure equal access to health, legal and social services to mothers of stateless children. It also recommends that the State party systematically collect data, disaggregated by sex, age and gender, on the extent of statelessness in the State party.
31.The Committee welcomes the efforts of the State party to eliminate discrimination against women and girls and gender-stereotyping in the education system and the progress achieved so far, for example the awareness-raising campaigns targeting young people, including girls and young women, on harassment, such as online bullying, at school, and digital literacy campaigns, as well as awareness-raising on women’s rights and gender equality. The Committee also welcomes the commitment of the State party to continue modernizing its sexual and reproductive health curricula. It however notes with concern:
(a)Persistent gender segregation in the education sector, including the low number of women and girls choosing non-traditional fields of study and career paths;
(b)That the percentage of women in senior academic posts is only 31 per cent;
(c)Reports of sexual harassment in schools, with 14 per cent of girls in secondary schools having experienced sexual harassment at school;
(d)The lack of systematic training on sexual and reproductive health and rights for teachers at the secondary level of education;
(e)The lack of data, disaggregated by sex and type of disability, on children, including girls, with disabilities who complete school, vocational and university education.
32. Reiterating its previous recommendations ( CEDAW/C/SWE/CO/8-9 , para. 33), and recalling its general recommendation No. 36 (2017) on the right of girls and women to education, the Committee recommends that the State party continue raising awareness of the importance of girls’ and women’s education at all levels as a basis for their empowerment, and:
(a) Continue to encourage women and girls to choose non-traditional fields of study and career paths, including in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, information and communications technology and law, and eliminate discriminatory stereotypes that may deter girls and women from enrolling in such fields of study;
(b) Consider introducing temporary special measures, such as statutory quota and preferential recruitment, to ensure the equal representation of women in senior academic posts;
(c) Ensure that a zero-tolerance policy on gender-based violence and harassment is effectively implemented in all schools, which should include counselling services, awareness-raising efforts and effective reporting mechanisms;
(d) Ensure that gender-sensitive, age-appropriate and inclusive education on sexual and reproductive health and rights is included in curricula at all levels of education to foster responsible sexual behaviour with a view to preventing early pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, including by providing teachers with systematic training on sexual and reproductive health and rights;
(e) Strengthen its measures to improve the inclusion of girls with disabilities in the mainstream education system, and include in its next periodic report information and statistical data, disaggregated by sex and type of disability, on school attendance, dropout rates and access to vocational and university education by girls with disabilities.
33.The Committee commends the State party for the high level of participation of women in the labour force, and notes that in the Global Gender Gap Report 2021, published by the World Economic Forum, the State party was ranked eleventh out of 156 countries for women’s economic participation and opportunities. The Committee further welcomes the 2017 amendment to the Discrimination Law that provides for a salary mapping, in the context of efforts towards gender-equal salaries, to be conducted on a yearly basis for companies with at least 10 employees. The Committee notes with concern:
(a)That according to a 2018 study of the European Union, the gender wage gap in the State party still stands at 12.2 per cent;
(b)The risk of algorithm-driven gender-based discrimination in advertising and hiring practices in the labour market, in particular against women belonging to disadvantaged and marginalized groups;
(c)That despite the high employment rate among women (72 per cent), women are still overrepresented in part-time positions, predominantly owing to the disproportionate burden of family responsibilities they bear;
(d)The persistently low participation of migrant women, women belonging to minority groups, Sami women and women with disabilities in the labour market;
(e)That the State party has not ratified the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190), of the International Labour Organization.
34. With reference to its previous recommendations ( CEDAW/C/SWE/CO/8-9 , para. 35), the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Strictly enforce the principle of equal pay for work of equal value, in order to narrow and ultimately close the gender pay gap, by regularly reviewing wages in all sectors, applying gender-sensitive analytical job classification and evaluation methods and conducting regular labour inspections and pay surveys;
(b) Implement measures to prevent gender-based discrimination in the design of algorithms used for job advertisements or recruitment;
(c) Strengthen measures to eliminate occupational segregation and enhance access by women, including migrant women, women belonging to minority groups, indigenous women and women with disabilities, to formal employment, encourage women and girls to select non-traditional career paths, and prioritize the transition of women from part-time to full-time work, including by providing a sufficient number of adequate and accessible childcare facilities;
(d) Collect comprehensive data on the participation of migrant women, women belonging to minority groups, indigenous women and women with disabilities in the labour market and include such information in the next periodic report;
(e) Ratify the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190).
35.The Committee welcomes the statement made by the delegation that the State party agrees on the need to increase the production of vaccines and to distribute them globally, and that Sweden is ready to work with partners, including in the World Trade Organization, to find solutions. It notes that State party considers that a temporary waiver on certain provisions of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, as proposed by India and South Africa to the World Trade Organization, could undermine the current collaboration based on the Agreement and hamper incentives for research and innovation. The Committee also notes with concern that:
(a)Work-related illness and use of sick leave is higher among women than men, especially as regards sick leave for mental illnesses;
(b)Health needs of women with disabilities are not sufficiently identified and addressed by the State party;
(c)Women with disabilities, women belonging to minority groups, and indigenous, migrant and asylum-seeking women sometimes encounter difficulties in accessing sexual and reproductive health services and information.
36. In line with its general recommendation No. 24 (1999) on women and health and reiterating its previous recommendations ( CEDAW/C/SWE/CO/8-9 , para. 37), the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Increase its efforts, including through the allocation of additional resources, to address the deteriorating mental health situation of women and girls, with a particular focus on adopting preventive measures, and further analyse the root causes of the increase in work-related illness and the use of sick leave among women in order to adopt holistic solutions;
(b) Pay special attention to the health needs of women with disabilities, ensuring their access to support services such as rehabilitation and psychosocial care;
(c) Ensure that women and girls without sufficient means, including those belonging to disadvantaged and marginalized groups, have free-of-charge access to health care, including sexual and reproductive health services.
Economic empowerment of women
37.The Committee commends the State party for the efforts it has undertaken to increase the percentage of women entrepreneurs. However, it notes with concern that:
(a)Data from the Swedish Forest Agency and Lantmäteriet (the Swedish mapping, cadastral and land registration authority) indicate a serious gender imbalance in ownership of forest, land and real estate. According to these data, women only own 15 per cent of the privately owned land area and 19 per cent of all properties in agriculture, and represent 38 per cent of all private owners of forest land but their property amounts to only 13 per cent of the privately owned forest area in the State party;
(b)The unequal participation of women and men in the digital economy and the artificial intelligence market impedes women’s economic empowerment.
38. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Review practices that may impede rural women’s access to land, forest and real estate ownership, and adopt legislation to protect their right to land, forest and real estate ownership;
(b) Improve the regulatory and economic framework by adopting and implementing a strategy to achieve substantive equality between women and men in the digital economy and the artificial intelligence market and continue strengthening women entrepreneurship.
Climate change and disaster risk reduction
39.The Committee commends the State party on the measures taken to address the climate crisis. However, the Committee notes with concern:
(a)That Sami women are not sufficiently included in the formulation and implementation of policies and strategies on climate change and disaster risk reduction;
(b)The lack of data and research on the gender-specific impact of the climate crisis potentially affecting the Sami community.
40. Recalling its general recommendation No. 37 (2018) on the gender-related dimensions of disaster risk reduction in the context of climate change, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Ensure the effective participation of Sami women as active agents of change in the formulation and implementation of policies and strategies on climate change and disaster response and risk reduction;
(b) Ensure that policies and plans relating to disaster risk reduction and climate change explicitly include a gender perspective and take into account the particular needs of women, in particular Sami women.
Women with disabilities
41.The Committee notes with concern the lack of information on the situation of women with disabilities.
42. The Committee recommends that the State party, in line with its general recommendation No. 18 (1991) on disabled women:
(a) Address intersecting forms of discrimination against women and girls with disabilities and ensure their inclusion and access to all rights under the Convention, including by eliminating restrictions on their legal capacity, ensuring their access to justice, protection from gender-based violence, inclusive education, employment and health services, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, and addressing their specific needs;
(b) Ensure that all women and girls with disabilities are able to access the labour market, give their free and informed consent to decide where and with whom they choose to live, and access all support services available to victims of gender-based violence.
Sami women and girls
43.The Committee notes with concern:
(a)The lack of legislation to protect the rights of Sami indigenous women and girls to their traditional lands;
(b)The limited implementation of the principle of free, prior and informed consent and the lack of consultations and benefit-sharing with Sami women and girls in relation to development projects affecting their collective rights to land ownership;
(c)Continued reports of hate crimes and discrimination against Sami women and girls.
44. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Revise its legislation, including the Minerals Act, to ensure that exploration permits are granted in consultation with the Sami parliament;
(b) Adopt legislation requiring the free, prior and informed consent of and consultations and benefit-sharing with indigenous women and girls in relation to development projects affecting their traditional lands, in accordance with international standards;
(c) Take measures to combat hate crimes and discrimination against Sami women and girls, and investigate and prosecute any such cases;
(d) Ratify the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention No. 169 (1989), of the International Labour Organization.
Marriage and family relations
45.The Committee notes with concern reports of fathers obtaining custody or visitation rights despite having a record of domestic violence. It reiterates its concern that the State party’s current legislation on the distribution of property upon divorce does not fully take into consideration differences in the earning potential and human capital of spouses and may not adequately address gender-based economic disparities between spouses resulting from existing sex segregation in the labour market, persistent gender pay gaps and the greater share of unpaid work borne by women.
46. Reiterating its previous recommendations ( CEDAW/C/SWE/CO/8-9 , para. 39) and recalling its general recommendation No. 29 (2013) on the economic consequences of marriage, family relations and their dissolution, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Ensure that violence in the domestic sphere is taken into account in decisions on child custody or visitation rights, and raise awareness among members of the judiciary on the harmful impact of such violence on a child’s development;
(b) Continuously undertake research on the economic consequences of divorce for both spouses, paying specific attention to the enhanced human capital and earning potential of male spouses on the basis of their full-time and uninterrupted career patterns. The Committee calls upon the State party to continue reviewing its current legislation in the light of the outcome of that research.
47.The Committee notes the adoption in 2018 of an amendment to the law on certain international marriage and guardianship relations, which denies recognition in Sweden to child marriages concluded abroad on or after 1 January 2019. It welcomes the fact that this amendment targets so-called marriage tourism whereby citizens or residents of Sweden circumvent marriage age requirements in the State party by formalizing child marriages abroad. The Committee notes that the amendment may have adverse consequences for victims of child marriage who entered the State party as asylum seekers, who may in some cases be young mothers and who may have entered into such unions voluntarily at the time.
48. Recalling its general recommendation No. 29 (2013) on the economic consequences of marriage, family relations and their dissolution, the Committee recommends that the State party conduct an assessment of the indirect consequences that the 2018 amendment to the law on certain international marriage and guardianship relations may have on women and girls and that could cause their situation to deteriorate further. It invites the State party to provide such information in the next periodic report.
49. The Committee requests the State party to ensure the timely dissemination of the present concluding observations, in the official language of the State party, to the relevant State institutions at all levels (national, regional and local), in particular to the Government, the Riksdag and the judiciary, to enable their full implementation.
Ratification of other treaties
50. The Committee notes that the adherence of the State party to the nine major international human rights instruments would enhance the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedoms in all aspects of life. The Committee therefore encourages the State party to ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, to which it is not yet a party.
Follow-up to the concluding observations
51. The Committee requests the State party to provide, within two years, written information on the steps taken to implement the recommendations contained in paragraphs 24 (a), (e) and (f) and 26 (d) above.
Preparation of the next report
52. The Committee invites the State party to submit its eleventh periodic report, which is due in November 2025. The report should be submitted on time and cover the entire period up to the time of its submission.
53. The Committee requests the State party to follow the harmonized guidelines on reporting under the international human rights treaties, including guidelines on a common core document and treaty-specific documents ( HRI/GEN/2/Rev.6 , chap. I).