"Gender perspective is just as important as taking into account the weather and enemy combat value," Jan Thörnqvist, Chief of Operations of the Swedish Armed Forces, told Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter.
According to Thörnqvist, the goal is to reach a greater operational efficiency and a better work environment. The new manual includes both theoretical discussions about gender equality and concrete examples of how it should be implemented in operations and exercises.
"Swedish units can help to raise awareness within multilateral organizations on the importance of gender-related issues. This can be done by developing gender-specific report formats, as well as introducing gender perspective at meetings and in plans. We are far ahead compared to many other countries. But there is much left to do. We shall not beat our chest and say that we are all prepared, instead, this is something we must work on continually," Thörnqvist said.
Möt Försvarsmakten på Stockholm Pride — Försvarsmakten https://t.co/jqQATy2mHW— Försvarsmakten (@Forsvarsmakten) July 21, 2016
Almost instantly, the gender manual, which embodies Sweden's obsession with gender equality at all costs, became a laughingstock amongst Swedes online.
@friatider Försvarsmaktens nya handbok. pic.twitter.com/r3Oo2UOPq6— PeterSweden (@PeterSweden7) 14 сентября 2016 г.
Earlier in September, Sweden proudly achieved a long-term gender equality target that dated back to the 1980s, with women now making up half of the members of government bodies.
These plans left the Swedish public perplexed.
"It requires the right kind of policy to break the huge inequality and the great alienation that many women live in. A new authority will do nothing to help the exploited," Elisabeth Svantesson of the Conservative Party said.
Earlier this week, her party, which is currently part of the opposition against the "red-green" government, successfully killed a government proposal to impose fines of up to five million SEK ($600,000) on companies that fail to meet the requirement of having at least 40 percent of female board members.
Istället för Säpojogg. Delegation och besättning på HMS Carlskrona kör FMTK i #Almedalen. #svfm #fmtk pic.twitter.com/4HDlLsh5EP— Försvarsmakten (@Forsvarsmakten) July 6, 2016