By Claire Zillman
February 22, 2017

Isabella Lövin, the deputy prime minister of Sweden, spoke with Cosmopolitan during a recent trip to New York, and again denied that her now-famous bill signing photo was an attempt to troll President Donald Trump. The image of Lövin surrounded by seven female colleagues and advisors went viral because it mirrored one of Trump—with seven men—signing an order limiting women’s access to information about abortion.

Lövin says that the picture—and I found this line especially powerful—represents her reality. She told Cosmo:

“It’s a true photo. It’s a photo of me and my closest collaborators—my two state secretaries and press secretaries and advisers—so it’s not staged in that way. But I’m really happy that so many people love the photo and that they really felt empowered by the photo.”

Even with that feel-good message, Lövin acknowledges that the fight for gender equality is not done, especially from a global perspective. She recalls meeting with Chinese counterparts and Sweden’s eight representatives—seven of them women—sitting across from China’s all-male delegation. According to Lövin, Sweden’s finance minister joked at the time: “Well, you know, we looked for some competent men, but we only found one.”

Many governments the world over would be hard-pressed to purposefully assemble a tableau of women like the one featured in Lövin’s photo, let alone have it happen—as Lövin claims—by accident. The underrepresentation of women in the Trump administration is certainly top of mind. His cabinet is, of course, seriously short on women, and a USA Today analysis found that even at the aide level, men outnumber women 2 to 1.

@clairezillman

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