Gender equality is a priority issue for Sweden in international cooperation. The Ministry of Education and Research participates in shaping Sweden's international policy on education and gender equality and is involved in efforts to push gender equality issues in various international and regional organisations, including the EU, the UN, the Council of Europe and the Nordic Council of Ministers.
Sweden's action in international cooperation on gender equality issues is based on the Government's national gender equality policy and its policy for gender equality and the role and rights of women in development cooperation. The aim is to promote women's and men's human rights and contribute to international commitments that lead to women and men having the same power to shape society and their own lives. Sweden's gender equality policy is also governed by four subsidiary objectives setting out the direction of Government policy: an even division of power and influence, economic equality, an even division of unpaid housework and provision of care, and an end to men's violence against women. The Ministry also has the job of following up conventions and other international agreements related to gender equality and the position of women.
In July 2010, the Government adopted a policy for gender equality and the role and rights of women in development cooperation, which informs Sweden's action in international organisations. The policy focuses on four closely related areas: women's political participation and influence; women's economic role and working conditions; sexual and reproductive health and rights; and women's safety and the fight against all forms of gender-based violence and human trafficking.