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Sweden/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.10 Gender equality and cultural policies

As noted by a study published by the Swedish Arts Grants Committee in 2011, the proportion of women artists increased between the mid-1970s and the mid-1990s, but has stabilised since then. In the 1995 income year, 47 percent of the professional artists were women and 53 per cent men. In 2007, 46 percent of the artists were women and 54 per cent men. It notes, “the artist group can in principle be said to be in gender balance, although with a slight male dominance”. However, there are major differences between the various art forms. The categories visual arts and design, film, word and literature, and theatre all have an even gender balance. In dance, 70 per cent of the professional practitioners are women. Music is male-dominated, with 71 per cent men. The professional categories that have changed most in terms of gender composition are film, and word-and-literature category. In 1995, these comprised 64 and 65 per cent men respectively, while in 2007 the figures were 58 per cent men in film and 55 per cent men among professional artists in word and literature.

Gender mainstreaming is the main strategy among the efforts to reach gender equality. The idea of mainstreaming a gender perspective into daily working activities focuses on developing transparency in the systems and the structures to prevent the possible impact of subconscious norms and gender stereotypes. General trends and statistics indicate that the cultural sector in general is sex-segregated both horizontally and vertically. The pattern of either female or male domination in a specific art form is in many cases clear, although men dominate in power positions and more prestigious positions, both in female dominated and male dominated arts activities. The segregation-matrix is more complex when analysed from a perspective of women and men with various cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Chapter published: 16-05-2017

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