Gender in Europe

Gender in Sweden

Under Chapter 2, with the heading “Fundamental rights and freedoms,” of the Instrument of Government (part of the Swedish Constitution), Article 16 provides the following: No act of law or other provision may imply the unfavourable treatment of a citizen on grounds of gender, unless the provision forms part of efforts to promote equality between men and women or relates to compulsory military service or other analogous official duties. The Instrument of Government (SFS nr: 1974:152) contains the basic principles of Swedens form of government: how the Government in Sweden has to work, the fundamental freedoms and rights of the Swedish people and how elections to the Riksdag (Swedish parliament) are to be implemented. The adoption in 1974 of the Instrument of Government currently in force, including the provisions related to gender, meant a considerable reduction in the powers of the monarchy.

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Private: Gender


European Commission’s proposed directive on improving gender balance on Europe’s corporate boards

One of the aims of the Directive is to ensure Europe have diverse and effective boards.

Gender Directive in Financial Services

January 2012
HM Treasury committed to consult on changes to the UK Equality Act to implement
the judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) last March which removes the
ability of insurers to use gender as a factor in pricing and benefits from 21 December
On 9 December 2011, HM Treasury published a consultation that acknowledges that
UK legislation will seek to apply the judgment only to new contracts entered into after
21 December 2012. It also seeks views on other areas including:
• the continued collection of gender data;
• defining a new contract;
• indirect discrimination; and
• application to group schemes.
The EU Commission released guidance on 22 December on implementing the
European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) judgment. The guidance aims to clarify a series of
issues identified during consultations with Member States and stakeholders. Among
these clarifications, the guidelines underline that:
• the ECJ judgement only applies to new contracts entered into after 21
December 2012;
• provides specific examples of what is considered a ‘new contract’; and
• examples of gender-related insurance practices which are compatible with the
principle of unisex premiums and benefits. These practices range from the
calculation of technical provisions to reinsurance pricing, medical
underwriting and targeted marketing.

Updated on 1 March 2011
The European Court of Justice has delivered its ruling on the legality of the opt-out
derogation. We are working with the industry and with relevant stakeholders to
understand the practical implications of the judgment for firms and for consumers. In
the meantime, where customers have any questions about the implications of this
judgment, they should contact their firm or financial adviser.

14 February 2011
A Belgian consumer group has challenged an opt-out under European law which
allows insurance companies to use gender as a rating factor when pricing risk,
provided certain conditions are met. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is
expected to deliver their judgment on this case on 1 March 2011. If the opt-out is
deemed to be incompatible with European law, the outcome may have implications
for insurance firms, advisers, intermediaries and consumers. The product areas most
likely to be affected by such an outcome are:

• motor insurance;
• term life insurance;
• private medical insurance;
• critical illness insurance; and
• annuity products.

The sale and rating of other insurance products might also be affected. We do not
expect firms to make any immediate changes to their policies or to proactively
communicate with customers or prospective customers in advance of 1 March 2011.
However we would expect that any immediate concerns or queries raised by
consumers receive a response.

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