Swedish Environment Minister Karolina Skog wants to reduce the number of cars in the country, arguing they contribute to gender inequality.
The center-left government will propose new guidelines for urban development this summer. Skog suggests cities should give less space to cars, and not just because of their impact on the environment.
“The car is flexible and it’s nice to sit in your own bubble, but the downside is space inefficiency,” Skog said in an interview with Goteborgs-Posten published Wednesday. “A normal Swedish car is parked 97 percent of its lifespan, and for every car there are eight parking spaces and [large parts] of driving lanes. You can’t suggest that’s efficient.”
Since most drivers in Sweden are men, the current city planning “give space to men at the expense of women,” according to Skog.
“The car is mostly driven by men,” Skog told Goteborgs-Posten. “By giving the car so much space, we give space to men at the expense of women.”
The Swedish capital of Stockholm introduced a new “gender equal” approach to clearing the roads of snow in 2015. The policy states that sidewalks, public transport and bicycle lanes should be cleared before turning attention to the roads. The reason is that women are more likely to use sidewalks while men are overrepresented among commuters driving to work. (RELATED: Sweden’s ‘Gender-Equal’ Snow Clearing Approach ends In Chaos)
Politicians blamed the policy for the city’s failure to clear roads when the season’s first snow fall arrived last November.
“Some parts haven’t been touched at all, and it’s equally bad for everyone,” conservative opposition member Cecilia Brinck told public broadcaster SVT.
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