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Some stories are enough to make you despair of every seeing the pay gap closed shut in this country, and this is one of them. Sweden, one of the most egalitarian places in the world, cut the wages of its equal opportunites ombudsman when the job was taken over by a woman, reports The Local.

Anne-Marie Bergström will be paid 17% less than the man she replaced, getting 62,000 kroner a month (about £4,500). The old ombudsman is protesting the decision, taken by Sweden’s equality minister Nyamko Sabuni.

One of the ombudsman’s main tasks is to actively encourage employers to give equal pay to employees who perform the same tasks, regardless of gender or ethnicity.

“If this principle is broken, and gender and ethnicity do come into play, it is a basic breach of human rights and it is discrimination,” Claes Borgström told TV4.

“I think my successor should have started on a higher salary than she did,” he added.

Photo from JämO, Sweden’s equal opportunities ombudsman