Nyamko Sabuni

Born: 31/03/1969 (54 yo)
Birth place: Bujumbura (Burundi)

Citizenship : Other Europeans, (Sweeden)
Ascendant : Other African
Ethnicity : Zairean father

Occupation : Politician


Nyamko Ana Sabuni is a Swedish politician who served as Minister for Gender Equality in the Swedish government from 2006 to 2013. A member of the Liberal People's Party, Sabuni was elected a Member of Parliament in 2002 and assumed the office of Minister for Gender Equality on 6 October 2006. From 2006 to 2010 she also served as Minister for Integration.


Nyamko Sabuni was born in Bujumbura in Burundi where her father, a left-wing politician from Zaire, lived in exile. Sabuni's father is a Christian while her mother is a Muslim. The family obtained political asylum in Sweden in 1981 and Sabuni grew up in Kungsängen, north of Stockholm. She studied law at Uppsala University, migration policy at Mälardalen University in Eskilstuna, and information and media communications at Berghs School of Communication in Stockholm.

She was married from 2004 to 2012 and has twin boys from that marriage. She has described herself as non-religious.

Political career

Sabuni was a member of board of the Liberal Youth of Sweden from 1996 to 1998. She has cited the murder of Ivorian refugee Gerard Gbeyo, committed by a Swedish neo-Nazi in the town of Klippan in 1995, as one of the reasons she became involved in politics.

Sabuni has two uncles who are active as politicians in Sweden. Shortly after she was elected into office she made a publicized decision to withdraw funding for the organization Centrum mot rasism, where her uncle Mkyabela Sabuni was a director.

In a 17 July 2006 opinion letter published in the Swedish newspaper Expressen, Sabuni called for mandatory gynecological examinations of all schoolgirls in order to prevent genital mutilation.[5] She has proposed a ban on hijab for girls under 15 and also advocated the inclusion of honor killings as an independent category within the Swedish criminal code. In July 2006 her book Flickorna vi sviker ("The Girls We Let Down"), about women in Sweden living under the threat of honor violence, was published.

Sabuni states that practicing Muslims who live by the Qur'an "limit their own opportunities". She suggests that practices such as praying five times a day, or questioning music marginalize Muslims. Muslims respond by saying that Sabuni is singling them out, while avoiding issues concerning the Muslim community like unemployment.

On 6 October 2006, the new Swedish coalition government which emerged from the election announced Sabuni's appointment as the new Minister for Integration and Gender Equality. She is the first person of African descent to be appointed as Minister in the Swedish government.

Sabuni's appointment as Minister for Integration and Gender Equality was met with protests from some Swedish Muslims, who accused her of Islamophobia and populism. A petition against her appointment was signed by the Muslim Association of Sweden, reportedly the largest organization representing Muslims in Sweden.

She resigned on 21 January 2013, citing that her successor should be prepared prior to the 2014 general election.

Websites & Social Networks



  • Minister for Gender Equality (2006 –2013) for Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt(Preceded by Jens Orback, Succeeded by Maria Arnholm)
  • Minister for Integration (2006 –2010) for Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt (Preceded by Jens Orback, Succeeded by Erik Ullenhag)