New York Times journalists Katrin Bennhold and Eleanor Clift travelled to Norway in June to examine the links between the country’s economy and gender equality. They visited a series of institutions in Oslo including the leading unions, the prime minister’s office and the University of Oslo. It quickly became clear that one sentiment was shared by them all: Female participation in the economy reaps high economic benefits and allows the ‘Norwegian Model’ to prosper while other European economies are struggling.
Norway is a well functioning welfare state that enjoys a high standard of living, but many people argue that this is only a consequence of the country’s vast oil revenues. While it is true that Norway has a lot of oil, it is not the only reason behind our success. As Bennhold’s article demonstrates; all sectors of Norwegian society are geared towards encouraging and keeping women employed. Programs like guaranteed child care, father parental leave and a 40% boardroom quota reserved for women help to guarantee high female employment and the benefits are reaped in the economy, birth rates and the budget.
Gender Equality in Norway- basic facts:
- Norway is considered to be one of the most gender equal countries in the world. - In autumn 2010, more than half of all females aged 25-29 had a higher education.
- 7 out of 10 women and almost 8 out of 10 men are currently in employment.
- Norway’s main strategy in achieving gender equality has been to strengthen women’s economic independence through increasing their labour market participation. The welfare system in Norway is to take care of all of the country’s inhabitants “from the cradle to the grave”. The system is gender neutral and guarantees most basic needs.
- Today, women’s labour market participation in Norway is among the highest in Europe. At the same we have one of the highest birth rates.
Read the whole article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/29/world/europe/29iht-letter29.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2