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Gender Equality and Quality of Life

Perspectives from Poland and Norway

Edited By Marta Warat, Ewa Krzaklewska, Anna Ratecka and Krystyna Slany

This book engages with a critical perspective on gender equality and quality of life. It provides a comprehensive overview of theoretical and methodological frameworks for exploring both concepts which is complemented by the analysis of gender equality policies in Poland and Norway. With contributors from sociology to history and health studies, it draws on a wide range of examples to examine a multidimensional concept underpinning policy commitments and actions in areas such as family, labour market, health, reproductive rights or participation in political life.

"This is not only an expertly written and interesting book, but also a particularly current one in the light of the Europe-wide socio-political changes that affect both Poland and Norway."

Prof. Małgorzata Fuszara (University of Warsaw)

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Norwegian gender equality policies in transition: withdrawing of government responsibility? (Trine Rogg Korsvik)


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Trine Rogg Korsvik

Centre for Gender Research University of Oslo

Norwegian gender equality policies in transition: withdrawing of government responsibility?

Oslo, Norway October 9, 2015: Whilst the Norwegian Nobel Committee was about to announce the recipients of the year’s Nobel Peace Prize for a crammed press corps, a new White Paper charting the course of future gender equality policies was launched in a small meeting room in the government building on the other side of the town. The moment was not randomly selected, critical commentators claimed; the right-wing government obviously was hoping to avoid media attention to the inadequate White Paper “Gender Equality in Practice. Equal Opportunities for Women and Men” (Aftenposten 2015a; Dagbladet 2015). However, the White Paper has attracted attention, especially among gender researchers and feminists who criticised it for ignoring structural inequalities, class perspectives and unequal power relations between women and men (Bergstrøm 2015a; Håland 2015). The critics point out how no concrete measures to promote gender equality are suggested, whether in employment, political participation or to combat sexual harassment and gender stereotypes. While constructing gender equality as “a part of Norway’s identity” and “a society value”, the White Paper is guided by an ideological principle stressing the limits of government’s involvement in promoting equality in that it explicitly rejects “commandments, prohibitions and quotas” (White Paper no. 7 2015: 10). Gender equality researchers argue that this strategy is a de facto withdrawal of government’s responsibility to...

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