About the Nordic Gender Effect at Work

Fadumo Q Dayib at the launch of the Nordic prime ministers' initiative "Nordic Solutions to Global Challenges", May 2017
Silje Katrine Robinson/norden.org
Achieving gender equality and providing decent work for all are two of the most pressing global challenges. To surmount them, we need to work together and share knowledge and information – at the local, regional and global level.

The Nordic Gender Effect at Work is the Nordic prime ministers’ flagship project to promote gender equality as a goal in its own right, and as a prerequisite for decent work and economic growth.

There is a growing realization globally that in order to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth, societies need to harness the full potential and talent of the entire population—women and men. This is evidenced by the global commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This flagship is firmly rooted in the Sustainable Development Goals’ commitment to “leave no-one behind”, and specifically linked to SDG 5 on gender equality and SDG 8 on decent work.

The Nordic countries are commended for demonstrating that investment in gender equality yields well-being and economic gains. Still, there is much work to be done within the region to close the gender gap. In times when we face substantial setbacks to the progress on gender equality globally, the Nordic region is raising its voice on the matter – to share experiences and foster dialogue that can accelerate progress, globally and at home. 

Pillars of the Nordic gender effect

Longstanding Nordic commitments to gender equality have yielded results; it has generated a Nordic gender effect. The flagship responds to a growing international demand for knowledge on how Nordic models have served to engage women and men on equal terms in the labor market.

The flagship’s four pillars and focus areas are:

  • Shared parental leave and parenthood
  • Quality and affordable childcare and early childhood education
  • Flexible working time arrangements
  • Leadership and organizational practices enabling gender equality


Through exchange and dialogue with governments, social partners and other actors, the flagship seeks to promote gender equality as a goal in its own right and as a prerequisite for decent work and economic growth. Notably, the flagship seeks to:

  • Increase availability of Nordic knowledge within key areas, which may serve to enable solutions and progress in other organizations, institutions, countries and regions.
  • Strengthen advocacy and exchange on Nordic policy and practices to promote gender equality through partnerships and high level participation in international arenas.
  • Increase knowledge transfers from other regions to the Nordic region on models that can fuel further progress on gender equality at home.


The flagship focuses on activities where the Nordic countries can contribute to knowledge generation and dissemination as well as high level advocacy. To that end, a knowledge hub was launched in 2018, consisting of advocacy briefs covering Nordic experiences on parental leave, childcare, flexible work and equity in leadership, as well as videos and other resources. Furthermore, high level advocacy and exchange in international arenas bring together different stakeholders at panels and roundtables to address policy and models that advance women’s economic empowerment.


Nordic and international partners are sought to provide valuable knowledge and function as collaborators for advocacy and knowledge dissemination, including governments, UN agencies and organizations, regional bodies, NGOs and importantly companies that are serving as change agents on gender equality in the private sector. Partners on past events include UN Women, ILO, OECD, Promundo, Spotify, New America, ITUC, Global Compact and NHO.

Panelen på UNGA 72 - Parental Leave, a Key to Prosperity
Pontus Höök

Knowledge hub


Short films: