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Gender Equality

Articles on gender equality in chronological order.

Nordic region leading by example
The most important thing the Nordics can do to contribute to the ILO is to lead by example. That was the message from the Director-General Guy Ryder during the fourth and final conference on the Future of Work, held in Reykjavik.
ILO and the Nordics: At the frontline in fight for the future of work
There was a positive atmosphere as the ILO Director-General and representatives from the Nordic ministries of labour gathered in Iceland to discuss the challenges around the future of work. The Nordic model has proved to be adaptable to rapid and major change before, and the development of new technology is something people can actually control.
Equal pay: a fight between genders or between the rich and poor?
Society treasures resources and power more than anything. If we do not deal with economic inequality we will get nowhere, said the leader of the Icelandic trade union Efling, Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir, during a panel debate at the Nordic conference The Future of Work, held in Reykjavik between 4th-5th April.
Parental leave in Iceland gives dad a strong position
Since Iceland introduced nine months parental leave with three months earmarked fathers, their participation in childcare has changed radically – in a good way. Mothers return to work earlier, and get back to working ordinary hours faster. Daddy leave has been the main driver in this development.
Iceland’s equal pay standard – the employer’s best weapon?
From Reykjavík in the south to Sauðárkrókur in the north – companies across Iceland are introducing the equal pay standard which aims to eradicate gender pay gaps. But the reform also faces criticism from some who say it restricts employees’ opportunities to secure pay increases and bonuses.
Gender or general equality – what is more important?
On the 8th of March, the entire world focuses women’s rights. The NLJ’s gender equality barometer mirrors a small part of the gender balance in the Nordic region; whether there is a man or a woman in 24 positions of power. This year saw a modest increase in the number of women, but the trend is nevertheless clear. Gender equality is on the rise, even though things are moving slowly.
Nordic power positions: a modest increase in gender equality
The past year has seen two new governments emerge in the Nordics, and several changes among the top brass in labour market. But there were only modest changes to the gender balance. Women get one point more and end up with 66 points in the NLJ’s gender equality barometer, where 100 points means equal power distribution between the genders in the Nordic countries. But Iceland overtakes Norway.
I wanted to spend time at home with my daughter
When Malte Conrad became a father three years ago, he wanted to take as much paid parental leave as possible. This summer he will be the father of twins, and wants to do it all again.
Danish opposition to EU rules on daddy leave
Danish men who would like more paternal leave get support from new EU rules. But there is broad opposition in the Danish parliament to what is being seen as the EU meddling in Danish family affairs.
Swedish women in blue-collar jobs lose out
The gender wage gap continues to narrow in Sweden. But take a closer look at the numbers, and you see that not everyone is part of the positive development. Ahead of the 8th of March, LO again warns that women in blue-collar jobs are lagging behind.
Theme: The two sides of equality
How hard can it be? Iceland's Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has taken on the gender equality portfolio herself in the Icelandic government. The country achieves close to a full score in the NLJ's gender equality barometer. But gender equality is not the same as general equality, warns Sweden's LO, pointing to a widening gap between women in blue and white-collar jobs. In Denmark, it is the EU which is pushing for paternal leave, while in Finland there is a heated debate about the basic income.
“Paternal leave extremely important to reach gender equality"
“Today’s paternal leave legislation gives employers a lot of room to negotiate with men whether they should take leave or not. We need less flexible solutions,” says Anne Lise Ellingsæter, who has led a Nordic inquiry into parental leave. It proposed to reserve 20 weeks’ leave for the father.
Newly arrived immigrant women – more than a labour market project?
682,948 non-western immigrants arrived in the Nordic region between 2010 and 2015. The aim is to integrate as many of them as possible into the labour market. The challenge is greatest for female refugees, who often face discrimination in their native countries and again risk being discriminated against in their new home country.
OECD: More flexibility needed to get female refugees into work
There is a need for more flexible measures to integrate newly arrived refugee women in the Nordic region, according to the OECD. Research shows that after years of fleeing, birth rates increase dramatically. When women feel safe, they have children – but that also makes it difficult for them to benefit from labour market introduction programmes.
Project Mirjam tackles prejudices about and in the Swedish labour market
Project Mirjam targets women with low levels of education who have been granted asylum or residency in Sweden. It is considerably harder for them to find work compared to men in a similar situation, but guidance focused on work and gender equality produces results.
Icelandic companies want to introduce equal pay standard ahead of time
Icelandic companies are hard at work preparing to meet demands introduced in equal pay legislation presented at the start of the year. Several of them want to adapt the equal pay standard before the deadline. But the amount of work is greater than expected, and the first ones out must start from scratch.
OsloMet’s Rector Curt Rice wants to shake up academia
Oslo has a new university, the third largest in Norway. OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University, will educate the future labour force across a range of professions. If Rector gets his way, gender equality will permeate everything. Digitalisation will be a top priority and programmes will be developed at the intersection of research, teaching and practice.
Nordic gender equality 2018 – from #metoo to new structures
#metoo has thrown the spotlight on sexual harassment and indecent behaviour towards women, and marks a new chapter when it comes to discrimination. But loud voices, engagement and structural measures are all needed to achieve gender equality. The Nordic Labour Journal’s gender equality barometer shows that the Nordic countries are developing in somewhat different directions, yet action is being taken to target inequalities.
Women tighten grip on power in Norway - bottom place for Finland
When Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg met the world’s most powerful man, alongside her was also Norway’s first ever female Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide. Norway still leads NLJ’s gender equality barometer by a good margin, while Finland has fewer women in positions of power than any Nordic country has had for 19 years.
How should trade unions handle #metoo?
The #metoo movement’s many appalling stories show that parallel to rules and regulations there has been culture of silence which has made sexual assaults and harassment possible. This is a challenge for trade unions on all levels, concluded Nordic trade union representatives at a meeting in Stockholm in February.

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