Nordic co-operation on gender equality

Equal opportunities and a good work-life balance are not just a matter of rights – they are good for the economy. Promoting gender equality has helped generate prosperity in the Nordic countries. Affordable childcare, education and parental leave for both mothers and fathers have enhanced well-being and triggered economic growth. Meet six people who are balancing their lives – at home and at work. This is #NordicEquality

Gender equality is a key area of co-operation for the Nordic countries. It has contributed to the Nordic Region being one of the most gender equal regions in the world.

The co-operation of the Nordic governments with regard to gender equality is led by the Nordic ministers for gender equality, which together comprise MR-JÄM.

Mellan ministrarnas möten ser tjänstemännen i ämbetsmannakommittén, ÄK-JÄM, till att ärenden följs upp eller förbereds inom en rad prioriterade politiska områden.

The Nordic countries’ joint cultural, historical, and democratic traditions have made it possible to develop close and constructive co-operation within the field of gender equality.

In 1974, the Nordic Council of Ministers decided that each Nordic government would appoint someone to maintain contact with the other Nordic governments on gender equality issues. A few years later, an action programme was in place for Nordic co-operation on gender equality issues and a committee of senior officials was established.

Comparing with one another

Gender equality may increase or decrease in an individual country, but there is always something to inspire the other countries. If we look at the progress of the five countries as a group, it is easier to see that there has been constant development towards a more gender equal society since the 1970s.

International studies regularly rank the Nordic countries among the most gender equal in the world. Yet studies of the distribution of power and statistics show that we’re nowhere near finished.

Gender-segregated labour market

Within an international context, a large proportion of women in the Nordic Region are in work. Yet the participation of men and women in the labour market is still not on equal terms. The labour market is gender-segregated and there are pay gaps between women and men. In addition, more women work part time than men. There is much left to do when it comes to combatting gender-based violence as well.

This page contains current political programmes for Nordic co-operation on gender equality, as well as a wealth of material on the current state of gender equality in the Nordic Region and on how it is being developed.