In September 2014, Sweden will hold a parliamentary general election and Benny Andersson has given the ‘Feministisk initiativ’ (Feminist Initiative or ‘Fi’) party’s election campaign a kick-start with a donation of 100,000 kronor (approx. £10,000).
The ‘Fi’ does not receive any party support from the government and must pay all expenses in respect of the forthcoming elections themselves. Their goal is to raise a campaign fund of SEK 500,000 and thanks to Benny the party is already a fifth of the way there.
Benny explained: “I sympathise with the Feminist Initiative representative, Gudrun Schyman’s, persistent struggle for equality, but without money ‘Fi’ have no means of running an effective election campaign, so I decided to try to help by offering financial support.”
“We need them in parliament!” he urged.
During the 2009 European elections, Benny donated SEK 1 million towards promoting the ‘Fi’ campaign. He had heard Gudrun Schyman on Sweden’s P1 radio station, trying to drum up votes for her ‘Feministisk Initiativ’ party and subsequently called her with an offer of help. Two days later, full-page ads appeared in Dagens Nyheter, Swedish Dagbladet, Aftonbladet and Expressen in which Gudrun Schyman explained why people should go out and vote for her.
Schyman didn’t get a seat in the Parliament, but the result (2.2%) – surpassed all analysts’ expectations and was the best the party had ever done by any other means.
Gudrun Schyman is very grateful for Benny’s ongoing support and considers it very important that his contribution to ‘Feministisk initiativ’ does not go unnoticed.
“Benny’s donation means a lot to us. His contributions are essential to our work in the upcoming elections. We do not want to wait any longer. If we are to have an equal society, free from all forms of discrimination, feminists must take a place in politics,” she said in a recent press statement.
“Many people have respect for Benny, not only for the amazing musician he is, but also because he is socially engaged and committed to gender equality issues,” Schyman concluded.