Women’s rights are at the forefront of human rights, including their financial, emotional, physical and work rights. The practices seen in Norway and Iceland act as a great example of gender equality in Scandinavia.
The Impressionable Statistics in Scandinavia
Gender equality in Scandinavian countries Norway and Iceland are examples of progressive gender equality in action. Both countries have been voted as the happiest places in the world and this is in part due to their attitude to gender equality. The World Happiness Report states that Norway and Iceland have the ‘six key indicators’ to an abundant lifestyle — GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and corruption.
Norway and Iceland see women as a factor that is beneficial to their society. Although the pay gap has lessened over the past decade, women still earn less than men — even in countries like Iceland & Norway. In 2023, the World Economic Forum stated that Iceland had closed more than 90% of the gender pay gap.
Social Support in Iceland and Norway
Women in Scandinavia are considered not only a part of the makeup of Iceland and Norway but are a fundamental part of the country’s workforce.
Iceland is voted number one for gender equality in the world. 66% of graduates are women and 30 of 62 parliamentary seats are held by women. 80% of women in Iceland are a part of the workforce and 50% of the attendees of the GMAT business school entrance exam are women.
The World Economic Forum states that Norway’s ”Fostering and developing of female talent has the potential to accelerate the growth, competitiveness and future-readiness of economies and businesses worldwide.”
Healthy Life Expectancy in Norway
Much work goes into researching women’s livelihoods and what can improve them. Norway’s ‘Women’s Public Health Association’ is an example of betterment for women, as they focus on housing women for domestic violence recovery and women’s overall health.
The Women’s Public Health Association states: “We are equally committed to contributing to research on women’s health working on behalf of women who have been exposed to violence and minority women and more generally, to improving women’s rights in society.”
Freedom in Norway & Iceland
Scandinavian countries like Norway and Iceland say that “their social contracts thrive because their community is strong.’ This community is made up of citizens, residents and visitors. Focus on gender equality in Scandinavia encourages freedom for all, as women’s rights are extended to immigrants.
Anthropologist Thomas Hylland-Eriksen states “What may be peculiar about the Nordic way of dealing with immigrants is the great emphasis placed on equality, including gender equality.” Minorities are considered a part of the fundamental system that makes up Nordic countries.
Furthermore, Iceland holds the Gender Equality Act, last updated in 2021, its main aims are to: prevent discrimination based on gender, as well as maintain gender equality and equal opportunities for the genders in all spheres of society. This means that it is by law unadvised to discriminate in the workplace.
What Is the Takeaway?
Gender equality is at the heart of human rights and United Nations values. Gender-based discrimination is prohibited under almost every human rights treaty. Yet globally, millions of women and girls continue to experience discrimination and violence — being denied their equality, dignity, autonomy and even life.
These influences and examples of equality allow for the gender gap to be discussed in the future. It will take almost 140 years for women to stand equal with men globally. However, gender equality in Scandinavia serves as inspiring progress. The female rights and attitude towards gender is a great example of a nation wanting to move forward on equal footing.
– Anastasia Brown