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Nordic #metoo at UN women’s summit

The Nordic ministers for gender equality will attend the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York this week and speak out strongly in favour of women’s sexual and reproductive rights all over the world. One of the subjects they will address during a panel debate on 14 March will be the impact of the #metoo movement on politics in the Nordic countries.


The UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the leading international body dedicated to improving the situation of women all over the world.  This year, representatives of the governments of the UN member states and approximately 8,000 representatives of women’s organisations from around the world will attend the CSW. 

Four of the Nordic ministers and the Swedish State Secretary for Gender Equality will take part in the talks, hold bilateral meetings and respond to the heavy international demand for information about Nordic gender equality policies.  

“We are prepared to take a global lead” 

Pernilla Baralt, the Swedish State Secretary for Gender Equality and deputy chair of the Nordic Council of Ministers for Gender Equality, will chair a panel debate with her Nordic minister colleagues in the UN Building on 14 March.

“This year's CSW coincides with a extraordinary global movement for women’s rights. The Swedish and other Nordic governments will seize the opportunity to stand up for the rights of women and girls to decide over their own bodies. We are prepared to take a global lead to defend women’s bodily integrity and their sexual and reproductive rights,” she says.

The other members of the panel are Karen Ellemann (Denmark), Linda Hofstad Helleland (Norway), Ásmundur Einar Dadason (Iceland) and Kai Sauer (Finland). 

The over-arching theme for CSW 2018 is gender equality in rural areas, and the Nordic ministers will relate to it during their panel debate.

Rights, roles and realities – Nordic strategies for gender equality

The Nordic Region may lead the world in gender equality but there are still major regional and local variations. More women than men are leaving rural areas to move to towns and cities, a trend that is particularly strong in the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

Long distances to the nearest maternity unit in Finland, the north of Norway, the north of Sweden and large parts of Iceland can have negative consequences for women’s and children’s health.

The defence by the Nordic ministers for gender equality of women’s sexual and reproductive rights at global level is, therefore, also a topical theme at home. 

Lena Ag, Director General of the new Swedish Gender Equality Agency will chair the debate.

Join us at the UN headquarters or listen in via the link.

  • Follow the debate on UN Web TV 4:45–6:00 PM (21:45–23:00 CET)
  • If you are in New York for the CSW, the debate will be held in the UN Building, Conference Room 1   
  • Click here for a video featuring maps  that reflect the gender equality situation in rural areas in the Nordic Region 


Julia Fäldt Wahengo
Phone +45 29 69 29 13

Anna Rosenberg
Phone +4529692941