Nordic Region has its say on gender equality in the workplace

06.03.17 | News
Nordic Equality
The five Nordic ministers for gender equality invite you to a debate to be held in New York on Monday 13 March, the opening day of the session of the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women. The Nordic Region accepts the challenge to take the next steps towards gender equality in the workplace.

In a week’s time, several thousand government representatives, experts, and NGOs from around the globe will descend on New York to take part in the 61st session of the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women: CSW61.

The main theme of the conference is “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work” – an area where the Nordic countries have been pioneers and where their experiences attract considerable international interest.

The Nordic Region has more women in the labour market and more fathers who take parental leave than anywhere else in the world.

The Nordic Region is not perfect

In a debate at the UN headquarters led by American journalist Brigid Schulte, the Nordic ministers will discuss what their countries can do to take the next steps towards gender equality. The Nordic Region is not perfect, however. 

“We need to break down the traditional learning pathways of boys and girls. We need more women in senior positions, and we need to integrate a greater proportion of immigrant women into the labour market,” says Solveig Horne, Norwegian minister for gender equality and this year’s chairperson of the Nordic Council of Ministers for Gender Equality.

New tools required

The debate between the Nordic ministers will be opened by Dr Mari Teigen from Oslo and Dr Lynn Roseberry from Copenhagen, who will summarise the gender equality issues the countries have solved by way of such classic Nordic reforms as parental leave, extensive childcare and elderly care schemes, and individual taxation, as well as the issues that the reforms have not been able to rectify.

“The tools that are effective for achieving a high level of women’s participation in the labour market may not be effective for the next steps – achieving a gender-integrated labour market with equal pay,” says Lynn Roseberry.

The panel of ministers in New York will also include Iceland’s new minister for gender equality, Thorsteinn Víglundsson, who wants to introduce a mandatory equal-pay standard for all workplaces in Iceland with more than 25 employees.

Karen Ellemann, the Danish minister for gender equality and minister for Nordic co-operation, stresses that the Nordic Region must be a driving force at CSW.

“Women’s empowerment and their access and contribution to the labour market are crucial for everyone. The Nordic countries must take the lead at CSW to ensure that progress is made,” she says.

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

Listen to the ministers’ debate at the UN headquarters in New York either in person or via the link below. The debate will be held in Conference Room 7 from 13:15 to 14:45 local time on Monday 13 March.

Book an interview:

Contact with Finnish minister Pirkko Mattila is managed by Tiina Ullvén-Putkonen: +358 5056 42917Contact with Swedish minister Åsa Regnér is managed by Joanna Abrahamsson: + 46 72 543 84 89 Contact with Danish minister Karen Ellemann is managed by Rikke Lyngdal: +45 61 97 90 40Contact with Norwegian Minister Solveig Horne is managed by Maria Brit Espinoza: +47 915 59 67

Contact with Icelandic minister Thorsteinn Víglundsson is managed by Karl Petur Jonsson: +354 664 0000

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