Norway plans long-term efforts to speed up action on gender equality, including through strong laws (updated)
A white paper to the Norwegian Parliament on gender equality will lay the foundation for long-term targeted efforts for equality between women and men, with a focus on education, work and the business world, as well as health, violence and abuse. Since a strong legal framework is essential for combatting discrimination, including gender discrimination, Norway pledges to develop a renewed comprehensive equality act and discrimination bill. It calls for speeding up action on gender equality as a question of human rights, and accelerating implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action.
Speaking at the Global Leaders’ Meeting on 27 September 2015, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said: “UN Member States formally agreed on the [Sustainable Development Goals], which sets 2030 as an expiration date for gender inequality. Some say that this is too ambitious. I say, ‘Let’s speed it up.’” [ Speech ]
Developments since Norway’s commitment
One year since its commitments to advance gender equality at the Global Leaders’ Meeting, the Norwegian Government has taken a range of measures. It is preparing a renewed and comprehensive Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act, which will replace the four existing gender equality and anti-discrimination acts with one comprehensive act. Norway has invested in universal welfare schemes designed to make it possible for both mothers and fathers to balance family life and work.
The Government supports campaigns to increase the proportion of women leaders and representatives in local government bodies. In April 2016, the Norwegian Parliament adopted a White Paper on gender equality and, among other things, has requested the Government to provide an annual report on the status of efforts on equality and diversity, and to provide a gender assessment of the state budget.
Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls continues to be an important priority for Norway’s foreign policy. The new action plan on gender equality and women’s rights in Norway’s foreign and development policy (2016–2020) will support the 2030 Agenda’s gender dimension and the full implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. The Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (2015–2018) continues to guide Norway’s work for women’s effective participation in peace processes and peacebuilding. [ Full update ]