Solving ‘the Uniform Issue’: Gender and Professional Identity in the Swedish Military




Health, Working Environment & Wellbeing, Gender, Ethnicity, Age and Diversity, Identity, Meaning & Culture


This article contributes empirical knowledge about the shifting ways in which the Swedish Armed Forces (SAF) has articulated and addressed ‘the uniform issue’, that is, matters concerning servicewomen’s access to adequate uniforms and other equipment, since the 1980s. Drawing on analytical tools employed within post-structural policy analysis, we demonstrate how ‘the uniform issue’ has gone from being articulated as a problem for servicewomen, and to be solved by servicewomen, to a problem for the SAF in its pursuit to become an attractive employer and a legitimate public authority. By shedding light on how ‘the uniform issue’ has been problematized in shifting ways since Swedish women first were allowed to serve in all military positions, this article also contributes important insights into broader scholarly debates about workplace discrimination, gender equality, and gendered occupational identities in military work.

Author Biographies

Sanna Strand, Stockholm University

Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Economic History and International Relations.

Alma Persson, Linköping University

Associate professor, Unit for Gender Studies

Fia Sundevall, Stockholm University

Associate professor, Department of Economic History and International Relations


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How to Cite

Strand, S., Persson, A., & Sundevall, F. (2022). Solving ‘the Uniform Issue’: Gender and Professional Identity in the Swedish Military. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies.