Norway noted in a global report on gender equality in politics

Nuclear fusion in the Storting after the explosive disagreementThe Norwegian Parliament. Photo Norway Today Media

Women took 27.1% of the seats in 34 national elections around the world in 2017. Norway had the second highest women’s share among those elected people, with 41.4%.


Among the 34 countries that had parliamentary elections last year, only Senegal had a higher proportion of female parliamentarians than Norway, with 41.8%. This was shown in a report from the Interparliamentary Union (IPU).

After the last elections, women’s position in world parliaments has increased from 23.3 to 23.4%. However, the slight increase is part of a larger picture, where the proportion of women elected at a national level has increased slowly but surely. On average, by 0.6% each year, from 11.3% in 1995, to 17.8% in 2007, to today’s 23.3%.

The percentage has increased in all regions of the world.

The report also pointed out a few important milestones for gender equality. Among other things, Norway now has a government led by three women in the most important roles: Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and Foreign Minister.

Pregnant Prime Minister

Another milestone is the election of Labour leader, Jacinda Ardern, 37,as new prime minister in New Zealand. Just seven hours after the election, she set up the ‘Equality Cabinet’, and the question of family planning began to appear.

According to the Washington Post newspaper, Ardern was heavily provoked when the director, Mark Richardson, promptly asked her if she was out on parental leave, and said voters had the right to know in just the same way an employer should know if a woman is to be scheduled with plans to have children . In New Zealand, as in Norway, it is illegal to ask jobseekers about family status or plans for children.

“It is completely unacceptable in 2017 to say that women must respond to the question at the workplace,’’ said Ardern.

In January, it became known that Ardern is pregnant. She is the world’s first pregnant prime minister in over 30 years.

Quotas help

The statistics show that there is a connection to active measures,such as quota schemes, to increasing the percentage of women,and the actual levelling of gender differences.

However, some reversals have been seen in some countries following national elections last year. For example, in Iceland there are now 38.1% women in parliament, while the proportion before the election was 47.6%.

A video that the Washington Post has put together also showed that gender discrimination and the condescending of women’s views thrive,even in the corridors of power. In addition to reminding of an unnamed Polish parliamentarian, who concluded that women should obviously earn less than men because they are smaller, weaker, and less intelligent than men.

The Daily Mail newspaper’s first page compared the British Prime Minister Theresa May, and Scotland’s Prime Minister, Nicola Sturgeon’s to a ‘low goal’.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today