Swedish female students awarded discrimination compensation

gavelSouthern Sweden’s Lund University has agreed to pay out compensation to two dozen female students who were refused entrance into the psychology programme on gender grounds.

An out-of-court settlement was reached by the parties after the 24 women sued Lund University for discrimination following the admittance of three male candidates holding equivalent qualifications into the programme back in the autumn of 2008. At the time, the university justified its preference for the men by stating that the programme was already dominated by females and they were attempting to bring greater gender balance to the course.

The compensation payment of SEK 35,000 (USD 5,000) to each potential candidate was welcomed by Clarence Crawford, a legal representative from the Centre for Justice in Stockholm. Crawford added that the settlement was fair towards his client, Elin Sahlin, and her colleagues.

“This is gratifying, since Elin Sahlin and the other women pushing the case have now been given redress. It is also logical considering the fact that several courts in other cases have reached the conclusion that precisely this kind of admissions process is a form of illegal discrimination,” said Crawford.

The university, which changed its admission procedure in 2009 in an attempt to provide equality, said it would continue to work towards achieving greater gender equity on its courses.

“Nobody should have to feel that it’s impossible to gain admission to a course because of their gender; we have full respect for the course of action taken by Elin Sahlin and we’re glad an agreement has been reached,” said University Vice-Chancellor Per Eriksson.

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