The Nordic Region is a world leader on gender equality, a position that comes with obligations. With just 11 years left until the implementation deadline for the UN’s Agenda 2030 for sustainability, the Nordic countries have reiterated the whole-hearted commitment to achieving the gender-equality goal.
Gender equality starts at home
They have invited the other UN member states to work with the Nordic Region and UN Women to take joint action in bringing about transformative change reaching the targets of gender equality. One of the tools for change is the project The Nordic Gender Effect at Work, in which the countries describe the political leadership of reforms and results of 50 years of working together on equality issues.
The Prime Minister of Iceland at the UN CSW
"Gender equality at home coincides with gender equality at work. It’s very important to realize this connection. That’s why we welcome innovative collaboration around paid and shared parental leave; affordable, high quality childcare and gender equality in leadership,” says Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland who also has responsibility for gender equality. Along with the other Nordic equality ministers she is in New York to attend the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
A real effect
The fact that there really is a “Nordic Gender Effect” is reflected in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index, which shows that the Nordic countries rank top of the world. The index measures indicators such as access to education, training, health, jobs and political power.
MeToo revealed the challenges
One of the equality parameters that the index measures is protection against gender-related and sexual violence. In this area, the #MeToo movement has revealed that there is still a great deal of room for improvement, both inside and outside the Nordic Region, the ministers stress.
Gender equality is possible!
Phumzile Mlambo, Director of UN Women, stressed that wholehearted Nordic support for the gender-equality goal in Agenda 2030 sends an important signal to the rest of the world.
"The leadership of the Nordic countries is critical; their experience in advancing gender equality through social protection policies and legislation, innovation and engaging men and boys can help us find solutions globally," she says.