The so called 'collapse' of Swedish welfare state is often perceived in Poland in the light of 'family decline' that is expected to have happened in the Nordic countries. Additionally, according to some groups of authors, since (Western, and maybe especially Swedish) 'atomization, hedonism and selfishness' promotes a certain style of life making people put away their decision about having a child, which together leads to dramatic decrease in birthrates. In the writings of conservative authors demographic decline presents very basic threat for the nation's existence. This article is aimed at clarifying the facts concerning Swedish family policy, as well as at showing successful institutional solutions, which could be applied in Poland because their usefulness in Polish conditions. Theoretical background including 'gendering welfare state' approach is here presented mostly due to its absence in the writings of Polish authors. Gender equality point of view is accompanied by showing, how much freedom of choice Swedish model of family policy provides. In order to have a wider view of this topic, the main characteristics of Swedish state's policy towards families are presented together with the 'retrenchment' period of the 1990s, analyzed with the intention to shed some different light on the fact, whether the retrenchment is really taking place or not.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.