Anförande vid "HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 Initiative"

Anförande vid lanseringen av "HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 Initiative" den 23 januari 2015. 

Det talade ordet gäller.

Excellencies, panellists, participants,

I know from experience the force of gender equality. My background is in the male-dominated manufacturing sector, and I have seen first-hand how businesses improve through equal participation of women in the workplace and in decision-making.

This is why gender equality should be core government business - because it is both morally right and economically wise. Many of the challenges our societies face require structural changes in gender relations. If we fail, our societies will remain chained by gender stereotypes and we will see development arrested.

The new universal agenda for sustainable development post-2015 provides a unique opportunity that we must seize. We must take real steps for the advancement of women and girls in all areas of society.

Firstly, the political participation and representation of women needs to increase at all levels: in local councils and national parliaments, but also in peace processes and climate negotiations. We are still embarrassingly far from equality in terms of representation.

Secondly, the economic empowerment of women must be promoted. Shutting women out of economic activity is probably the biggest waste of opportunity and talent in our world.

We need to reform tax and benefit systems, ensure women's full participation in the labour market and enhance women's access to resources, including land and capital and financial services.

Thirdly, we must address the root cause of gender inequalities: unequal power relations.

Harmful practices and violence against women and girls are ultimately about subordination. So is denying women and girls the right to decide over their own bodies and sexuality.

We must have zero tolerance for violence against women, and safeguard the human right to control one's own body. I also strongly believe in the empowering force of education, as shown by the inspiring example of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai.

But change, particularly of entrenched social norms, requires strong leadership and firm political commitment - and the active involvement of us all.

That's why today's event is important. It underlines the fact that gender equality is not a concern for some, but everyone. Making the sustainable development goals gender equal - in design, purpose, execution and follow-up - will benefit all of us: women and girls, men and boys.

The Swedish feminist government is committed to working with others to achieve this. And I commit, by the power of my office and my personal conviction, to do my share.

Thank you.

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