Faith, gender and the Nordic region

Magdalena Andersson and Margot Wallström in Sweden’s feminist government lift the country’s position in this year’s gender equality barometer. For the fifth year running the Nordic Labour Journal measures gender equality using our own barometer. It shows steadily improving gender equality in the Nordic region. This year we focus on churches where women are conquering top positions, Denmark where women are entering the boardrooms and Sweden’s drive for critical innovation with women in the lead.

Mar 05, 2015 | Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall / TT / NTB Scanpix
Latest news
Finland: Unemployed youths get more attention (Mar 19, 2015) Finland’s youth guarantee means young people have become a higher priority within the public sector.
The Nordics: Failing reforms exclude youths with disabilities. (Mar 06, 2015) More flexibility does not lead to a more inclusive labour market. Political reforms carried out in the Nordic region in the first decade of the millennium do not have any measurable effects either, concludes the Nordic research group behind the report ‘New Policies to Promote Youth Inclusion’.
Finland’s changing labour market (Mar 06, 2015) Finland is struggling to emerge from the economic crisis, and it is being felt in the labour market. Only one in ten Finns believe the situation will improve this year. Nearly half of them believe things will get worse, according to a working life barometre from the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy.
New work environment agreement focuses on prevention and permanence (Mar 06, 2015) Denmark’s work environment will be strengthened over the next four years with 135 million Danish kroner (€18m), mainly aimed at preventing violence, threats, workplace accidents and burnout.
Victory for the Finnish Electrical Workers' Union in EU Court of Justice (Mar 06, 2015) ”6 – 0 to the Finnish Electrical Workers’ Union!” ”The greatest thing to have happened since the Laval judgement!” Reactions from the employees’ side were exuberant when the Court of Justice of the European Union announced its preliminary ruling in the case concerning 186 Polish electricians who had been posted to Finland.
Norway: strike against labour law reform, tough conflicts ahead (Feb 07, 2015) Will more short term contracts lead to more jobs for more people? Will it make it easier to access the labour market? Would it create more jobs or just more temporary staff? These questions are at the core of Norwegian workers’ fight against changes to the working environment act.
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Recent articles
Editorial: More than pink — it’s about power (Mar 06, 2015) Comments For the fifth year running the Nordic Labour Journal publishes the gender equality barometer. The division of power in the Nordic region is better than ever, but not across the board. This year we focus on religious societies, generally ruled by men. Nordic churches are different, with women as top bishops in Iceland, Norway and Sweden. But does power equal authority?
Anda Uldum: The man with the key to the national coffers and the mines (Mar 06, 2015) Insight Greenland’s new Minister of Finance and Raw Materials, Anda Uldum, is facing a giant challenge.
The minimum wage — threat or opportunity? (Feb 07, 2015) Comments Stop worrying and join the debate about a legally binding minimum wage across the EU. That’s the bombshell from Bente Sorgenfrey, the new President for the Council of Nordic Trade Unions, NFS. Is fear for the debate the real problem, or is a statutory minimum wage a real threat to the Nordic model? The Nordic Labour Journal kicks off the debate in this month’s theme.
Minister for Strategic Development Kristina Persson: make the Arctic “green” (Feb 07, 2015) Portrait So far she has been the least visible minister in the Swedish government. That’s about to change as she is setting up a think tank in the government offices.
Editorial: New tendencies are focusing minds (Dec 12, 2014) Opinion The OECD leaves little doubt that the Nordic region has come through the crisis better than most other countries, with low unemployment, high employment and little inequality. But take nothing for granted. New tendencies are focusing minds. Organised labour is under pressure while the sharing economy spreads at an ever faster rate. The Nordic Labour Journal checks out the facts.
Gerd Kristiansen: Norwegian LO leader with a backbone (Dec 12, 2014) Portrait There is tension in the air. The leader for Norway’s largest labour organisation is incensed with the government’s labour policies and its lack of cooperation on the proposed new work environment act which would grant employers more powers to hire people on temporary contracts. Her determination can be felt across the room.
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Icelandic Bishop Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir: The Bishop who is spring cleaning the church

“A bishop’s work is mainly administrative. If I were to compare my work with the state hierarchy, the Bishop is both prime minister and president,” explains Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir, who in June 2012 became the first female principal bishop on Iceland - the country has only one Diocese, Reykjavik.

She has not noticed any prejudices against women within the church. But she has noticed that there are differences between the sexes when it comes to how you are  treated. Women and men are not always treated in the same way.

“I don’t think this is about prejudices against women. But there is always a difference depending on whether the church leadership is male or female. Women’s words are not trusted to the same extent as men’s,” says Agnes.

It’s about power. There is a power struggle between different factions within the church. Some are conservative and fight against change, others prefer the church to change.

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Per cent of workforce -
link to source:

Denmark 6.2 -January 

Finland 8.8 - January

Norway 3.7 - December

Iceland 4.4 - January

Sweden 8.4 - January

OECD 7.1 - December


Courses The Nordic Institute for Advanced Training in Occupational Health

8th International course on
Age Management - Life Course Approach calls for Diversity Management
5 - 8 (9) October 2015
Hämeenkylän kartano, Vantaa (Helsinki area), Finland

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Some earlier themes:
Media in crisis - a challenge for democracy? Media in crisis - a challenge for democracy
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Celebrating 60 years with a borderless labour market Celebrating 60 years with a borderless labour market
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