Karlstads University, Sweden
At the United Nation’s women’s conference in Beijing in 1995, gender mainstreaming was adopted as a strategy for equality when governments from 189 countries formally committed themselves to implementing the strategy and to “remove all obstacles to gender equality”. Thereafter many countries have also implemented versions of it in national documents. This applies, for example, to the Nordic countries, and means that contemporary ageing takes place in a political context where the aims for gender equality play a central political role. Hence there are grounds for empirically analysing gender politics as a context for ageing, and also how gender equality and age relations relate to one another. In this paper I will provide such a discussion with focus on the Swedish context by illustrating how definitions of gender equality in the labour market, depend on the age groups that are in focus. The results are based on a comparison of two different national policy documents; the commission on Retirement-Age, and The Delegation for Gender Equality in Working Life. My analysis is inspired by Carole Bacchis “Whats the problem represented to be”- approach, a policy analysis that aim to identify the problematizations that are assumed by the solutions that are suggested in policy document. The results reveal the challenges that gender equality policies are faced with in relation to a prolonged working life. In doing so, theoretical tensions, contradictions in public policy and socio-cultural discourses may be reconsidered.