Sweden ranks no. 2 in the world after Norway in terms of gender empowerment, according to the U.N. Development Program's 2004 report. Swedish women earn more money and hold more high-level political offices than their counterparts abroad. Child care is provided by the state, and although the Prime Minister, Goran Persson, is a man, he is also a "declared feminist." So what is Sweden's new political party, Feminist Initiative (FI), fighting for? "We have systematic wage discrimination, a growing problem with violence against women, and images of women as sexual objects confront us every day," party leader Gudrun Schyman told TIME. "What we need is to mobilize women and put these issues at the top of the political agenda." It seems that Schyman, a former Left Party leader who once infamously compared Swedish men to the Taliban, has hit a nerve with the Swedish electorate. Polls taken just after the party's launch last week suggest FI could take 7% of the vote in the next national election in September 2006 not only leaching support from small left-wing parties, but also the ruling Social Democrats ( SDP). Marita Ulvskog, Social Democratic Party secretary, fears that the FI could steal votes from the left-wing coalition: "This could mean that we lose the next elections. And I don't think women's causes are better served by a non-Socialist government." While analysts believe FI has a good chance of winning seats in Parliament in 2006, they also predict that it could be a one-off performance. Single-issue parties rarely live long. But this prospect doesn't deter Schyman. "We are asking for the voter's mandate to use the parliamentary system to break down the patriarchal power structure. Once that is done, our party is no longer needed." But since the SDP has launched a rival women's interest group, FI won't have to dismantle the patriarchy alone.