Celebrating universal suffrage in Sweden in 2021

The Swedish Parliament, the Riksdag, is celebrating 100 years of universal suffrage. In 1919, Sweden removed the requirement that voters had to be men, and in 1921 the first woman – Kerstin Hesselgren – was elected to the Riksdag.

It took a while for other marginalised groups to be allowed to vote (poor people, men who had not completed military service, the bankrupt, people on benefits for the poor, prisoners, and the institutionalised were not allowed to vote), so true universal suffrage was only achieved in 1989.

There have been many seminars, lectures, workshops, theme days, and exhibitions relating to women’s rights in the Riksdag since 2019, but the pandemic put a stop to those early last year. To celebrate the achievements of 1919 to 1921, the Swedish Riksdag had pretty lights on the facade. This is nice because all physical events to celebrate this have been cancelled. The celebration is ongoing digitally but it is not nearly the same.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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