In Tensta, a suburb in northern Stockholm with many immigrants, the swimming hall has for a few years reserved one afternoon a week for women only. The result has been very good in terms of numbers of visitors. Now there are plans to increase the hours when men are banned at the swimming hall.
Studies show that the ability to swim has increased among those women who visit the swimming hall during these hours. In 2009; 29 % of them could swim 200 meters breast stroke. In 2011; the number was 36 %. To increase the physical activity among the Stockholmers is also the main reason behind the whole idea. Many of the women who come to the hall during these hours are very happy with being able to swim without the presence of men. According to a survey from the city, many Muslim women would not exercise at all if it was not for the reserved ‘women hours’ at the swimming halls.
But there are also many critics; for example Per Ström at the think tank Den Nya Välfärden (the New Welfare) who said to the public service radio station Sr:
“Publically finances institutions must be characterized by equality. It is a very basic principle”