Norway’s demand for 40 per cent female board members is unique. How could such a radical gender equality measure be implemented in a business world which is opposed to quotas? And by a minister from the anti-quota right wing party Høyre?
In Norway, the local council, the county parliament and the national parliament are all a long way from achieving a gender balance among their elected representatives. But now, it has been achieved in the Sámi parliament. In the autumn elections of 2005 the ratio of women in the Sámi parliament increased from 18 to 51 per cent. And for the first time a woman, Aili Keskitalo, has been chosen as the Sámi Parliament president. What happened?
Political committees in Norwegian local authorities should have a representation of at least 40 per cent of each sex. In practice, however, it does not work like this. The law on quotas often has to yield to arguments that it constitutes a threat to local democracy. Ingrid Guldvik has written her doctoral thesis on quotas and gender justice.