In Norway condoms are distributed to prostitutes, while in Sweden this runs counter to its zero-tolerance policy. The idea of a common Nordic model for dealing with prostitution is not reflected in practice.
Both voters and political parties use the opportunities they have to give extra votes to female politicians of ethnic minority background.
Can a woman be a genuine martyr? Is it a compliment to say to a woman that she is “equal to a thousand men”? Feminist activists in Iran are waging an ideological war on Facebook.
Does state support for voluntary organisations curtail creativity and force activists to focus on what the government wants them to?
In 1959, the Norwegian Parliament ended the practice of establishing lower wage scales for women than for men. “The Norwegian Employers’ Association used deliberate, cynical means to ensure that female-dominated jobs remained low paying. The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) failed the cause of equal pay by accepting this,” says Professor Inger Bjørnhaug.
All of a sudden there was no escape: Publicly listed companies in Norway had to comply with the law requiring a 40 % female quota for board members. And indeed: It quickly worked. What happened?
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.