The UmeÃ¥ Municipality is remarquable in providing equal status for both women and men.
- First the city recognize that, it is essential to take a gender equality perspective Â in its policies and to undertake gender equality work â€“ meaning â€œ increasing awareness of social gender and questioning and challenging stereotypical gender roles as well as one’s own prejudices, with the aim of breaking down the norms and structures curtailing opportunities for men and women (â€¦) » (see Strategy for Gender Equality Work in UmeÃ¥ Municipality).
- Secondly, and as a result, the city developed a strategy aiming at integrating a gender equality perspective in the approach of all organisations within the municipality. It has established a Gender Equality Committee â€“ directly accountable to the Municipal Council â€“ do so.
A concrete measure:Â Football on equal conditions
- Based on a study conducted by the City of UmeÃ¥ in 1999 showing that 70% of the people using sports arenas were men, UmeÃ¥ decided the following year that training hours should be divided more equally between womenâ€™s and menâ€™s teams, depending on their placement in their own league for instance.
- UmeÃ¥ was the first municipality in Sweden (en Europe?) to take this kind of decision on how to divide training hours between genders.
- As a result, boys and menâ€™s teams had no longer the priority to choose the best training hours, and girls and womenâ€™s teams were offered the same opportunities for training in sports arenas. The interest for girls football grew rapidly and today there are almost as many girls as boys playing football in the City of UmeÃ¥.