Fired up Swedish feminists burn cash over pay gap

Tue Jul 6, 2010 6:41am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article
[-] Text [+]

VISBY, Sweden (Reuters Life!) - Sweden's Feminist party roasted a pile of bank notes worth 100,000 Swedish crowns ($13,010) on Tuesday in a stunt designed to highlight wage disparities between men and women ahead of a national election.

Feminist party leader Gudrun Schyman pulled handfuls of cash from a plastic bag and threw them onto a smoking barbeque as a small crowd leaned in to take pictures. It took about 25 minutes to burn the bag's contents.

"We are doing this for fair wages," she told a crowd of some 75 people on the island of Gotland, off the southeast coast of Sweden, where political parties are gathered for a week of campaigning.

The stunt, using money donated by an advertising agency, was designed to illustrate how women in Sweden "lose" 100,000 crowns every minute because their wages are lower than men's, she said.

"This is a lot of money for a lot of people and it is a lot of money for me but in a political campaign it is a drop in the ocean," Schyman added.

Swedes go to the polls on September 19 and the feminist party -- backed by celebrity supporters including Jane Fonda and ABBA's Benny Andersson -- hopes to win its first seat in parliament since it was founded in 2005.

Andersson donated 1 million crowns to the party last year to fund its campaign for election to the European parliament.

In Sweden's national election in 2006, the feminist party won less than one percent of the vote. Parties need at least four percent to earn a seat in the national assembly.

A video of the event is available on the party's web site at

(Reporting by Johan Ahlander and Johan Sennero, editing by Paul Casciato)