STOCKHOLM — Despite the best efforts of government and women's groups, the percentage of women in certain industrial jobs in Sweden has failed to increase during the past three years. According to new statistics released in a report on Monday, women make up no greater portion of the industrial workforce today than in 2002, the last time data were reported. Of particular concern to feminist groups was a decline in female participation in some areas of industry that have typically been dominated by men. The number of women in waste disposal jobs, for example, fell from 2% to 1.5% during the period covered by the study. Women's rights groups are already reacting to the report by calling for more government regulation of industy.
Some groups have even called for the introduction a strict quota system to ensure that women are given equal access to important industrial jobs like waste disposal. "Fifty percent — no more, no less!" is the rallying cry of wewanthalf.org, new organization created with the intention of ensuring exactly fifty percent representation by both sexes in all areas of the labor market. When asked if there are enough women who actually want to work picking up garbage, a spokeswoman from wewanthalf.org responded: "With proper support from government, in the form of subsidies for female workers, there will be no problem ensuring that women are equally represented in the waste disposal industry."