Nyamko Sabuni

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Nyamko Sabuni
Nyamko Sabuni.0c194 1236.jpg
Nyamko Sabuni.
Minister for Gender Equality
In office
6 October 2006 – 21 January 2013
Prime MinisterFredrik Reinfeldt
Preceded byJens Orback
Succeeded byMaria Arnholm
Minister for Integration
In office
6 October 2006 – 5 October 2010
Prime MinisterFredrik Reinfeldt
Preceded byJens Orback
Succeeded byErik Ullenhag
Personal details
Born (1969-03-31) 31 March 1969 (age 49)
Bujumbura, Burundi
Political partyLiberal People's Party
Alma materUppsala University

Nyamko Ana Sabuni (born 31 March 1969) is a Burundian-born Swedish former politician who served as Minister for Gender Equality in the Swedish government from 2006 to 2013. A member of the Liberal People's Party, Sabuni was elected a Member of Parliament in 2002 and assumed the office of Minister for Gender Equality on 6 October 2006. From 2006 to 2010 she also served as Minister for Integration.

Personal life[edit]

Nyamko Sabuni was born in Bujumbura in Burundi where her father, a left-wing politician from Zaire, lived in exile. Sabuni's father is a Christian while her mother is a Muslim.[1] The family obtained political asylum in Sweden in 1981 and Sabuni grew up in Kungsängen, north of Stockholm. She studied law at Uppsala University, migration policy at Mälardalen University in Eskilstuna, and information and media communications at Berghs School of Communication in Stockholm.

She was married from 2004 to 2012[2] and has twin boys from that marriage. She has described herself as non-religious.[3]

Political career[edit]

Paweł Rogaliński, Nyamko Sabuni and Mara Carfagna during the Third Equality Summit in Stockholm in 2009.

Sabuni was a member of board of the Liberal Youth of Sweden from 1996 to 1998. She has cited the murder of Ivorian refugee Gerard Gbeyo, committed by a Swedish neo-Nazi in the town of Klippan in 1995, as one of the reasons she became involved in politics.[4]

Sabuni has two uncles who are active as politicians in Sweden. Shortly after she was elected into office she made a publicized decision to withdraw funding for the organization Centrum mot rasism, where her uncle Mkyabela Sabuni was a director.[5]

In a 17 July 2006 opinion letter published in the Swedish newspaper Expressen, Sabuni called for mandatory gynecological examinations of all schoolgirls in order to prevent genital mutilation.[6] She has proposed a ban on hijab for girls under 15 and also advocated the inclusion of honor killings as an independent category within the Swedish criminal code.[7] In July 2006 her book Flickorna vi sviker ("The Girls We Let Down"), about women in Sweden living under the threat of honor violence, was published.

Sabuni states that practicing Muslims who live by the Qur'an "limit their own opportunities". She suggests that practices such as praying five times a day, or questioning music marginalize Muslims.[3]

On 6 October 2006, the new Swedish coalition government which emerged from the election announced Sabuni's appointment as the new Minister for Integration and Gender Equality.[7] She is the first person of African descent to be appointed as Minister in the Swedish government.[4][7]

Sabuni's appointment as Minister for Integration and Gender Equality was met with protests from some Swedish Muslims, who accused her of Islamophobia and populism.[8] A petition against her appointment was signed by the Muslim Association of Sweden, reportedly the largest organization representing Muslims in Sweden.[9]

She resigned on 21 January 2013, citing that her successor should be prepared prior to the 2014 general election.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lyall, Sarah (January 13, 2007). "Sweden's Lightning Rod in a Storm Over Assimilation". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  2. ^ Margareta Brattström: Separerar - utan äktenskapsförord (in Swedish), 8 April 2013
  3. ^ a b "Swedish politician's advice to immigrants? Try to fit in". International Herald Tribune. 12 January 2007. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
  4. ^ a b Bratt, Peter (7 January 2004). "Dotter till vänsterman skarp röst i folkpartiet" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved 2007-04-01.
  5. ^ http://www.svd.se/nyheter/inrikes/satsning-mot-rasism-stryps_362554.svd
  6. ^ Sabuni, Nyamko (17 July 2006). "Kontrollera underlivet på alla högstadieflickor" (in Swedish). Expressen. Retrieved 2007-04-01.
  7. ^ a b c Savage, James (6 October 2006). "Youth and diversity sets new government apart". The Local. Archived from the original on 23 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-01.
  8. ^ "Protest mot utnämning av Nyamko Sabuni till Integrations och Jämställdhetsminister!!" (in Swedish). IslamGuiden ("The Islam Guide"). Archived from the original on 2012-03-20. Retrieved 2007-04-01.
  9. ^ "Arrangörer av protestet mot utnämning av Nyamko Sabuni till Integrations och Jämställdhetsminister!!" (in Swedish). IslamGuiden ("The Islam Guide"). Retrieved 2007-04-01.
  10. ^ Sabuni resigns from office.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jens Orback
Minister for Integration
Succeeded by
Erik Ullenhag
Preceded by
Jens Orback
Minister for Gender Equality
Succeeded by
Maria Arnholm