Sweden’s feminist Government launches HeForShe


Prime Minister Stefan Löfven of Sweden addressing the audience. Photo: Government Offices Sweden/Martina Huber

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka was in Stockholm, Sweden for the launch of the Swedish HeForShe movement on 18 June. Invited by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven who was announced as a champion of UN Women’s HeForShe IMPACT 10X10X10 initiative at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year.

Prime Minister Löfven and Sweden are taking a global lead for redefining masculinity and addressing the issues holding women back from realizing their full potential.

“It is time that more men step forward and commit to move the gender equality agenda forward. I therefore urge all men to take their share of responsibility – at work, in the family and among friends,” said Prime Minister Löfven. “As Prime Minister I will do my part. I lead the world's first feminist government. It means that gender equality permeates the entire government policy. And women's rights permeate our international work.”

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Executive Director of UN Women and United Nations Under-Secretary General speaking at the launch event. Photo: Government Offices Sweden/Martina Huber

In becoming an IMPACT 10x10x10 champion, the Prime Minister has committed to: 1) Close the gap between women and men in pay and employment, 2) Advance women leaders in all Swedish sectors, 3) Address gender inequities in health.

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka said: “As an IMPACT 10X10X10 champion, Sweden will address the interconnected issues holding women back from their full and successful participation in society.”

From left to right: Vice President of the Swedish Trade Union Confederation, Tobias Baudin, Minister of Gender Equality Åsa Regnér, and Minister for Public Health, Healthcare and Sport, Gabriel Wikström. Photo: Government Offices Sweden/Martina Huber

The launch took place during the first official visit by Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka to Sweden since the Swedish Prime Minister Mr. Löfven was elected in September 2014 and announced that his would be a feminist government.

The Executive Director also met with several ministers including the Minister of Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström, who is heading the Swedish feminist foreign policy, which has received much international attention. Sweden is a strong supporter of UN Women’s work, both domestically and globally, and one of the world leaders in gender equality.

Read the press release:
UN Women announces bold commitments to gender equality from 20 new partners

Read the Executive Director's speech at a National Committee event on women's economic empowerment

Read the Executive Director's remarks at the launch of the HeForShe campaign in Stockholm

Watch a short video message by UN Women’s Executive Director

Watch the archived webcast of the HeForShe launch (in Swedish).