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Gender, Ageing and Extended Working LifeCross-National Perspectives$
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Áine Ní Léime, Debra Street, Sarah Vickerstaff, Clary Krekula, and Wendy Loretto

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447325116

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447325116.001.0001

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Sweden: an extended working life policy that overlooks gender considerations

Sweden: an extended working life policy that overlooks gender considerations

(p.157) Eight Sweden: an extended working life policy that overlooks gender considerations
Gender, Ageing and Extended Working Life

Clary Krekula

Lars-Gunnar Engström

Aida Alvinius

Policy Press

The Swedish government policy on extended working life has since its introduction in the mid-1990s aimed to lower the costs of the public pension system and to reduce the financial burden for workers. By focusing on an idealised category of those who are "willing and able to work longer", the policy has neglected the obstacles faced by those with physically demanding jobs or with a big responsibility to care for a close relative. This mainly affects women and upholds a neoliberal view of older people. By only problematizing gender perspective on the challenges to gender equality in working life, a narrow understanding of gender equality is created which deviates from other national gender equality policies. The policy debate thereby contributes also to excluding older women and men from the Swedish gender equality project. Despite the argument that an extended working life is needed to ensure the value of pensions, this does not apply to those who are unable to continue working - they are instead expected to rely on the social security scheme.

Keywords:   Categorizations of older workers, Gender equality policy, Informal elderly care, Gendered effects, Family and caring responsibilities, Ill health, Increased retirement age, A neoliberal view on older workers, Individual responsibility

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