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Gender-based health inequalities among migrant women during COVID-19 and public health responses in the Nordic countries

In Europe, the right to health is upheld in the European Social Charter, obliging states to take measures to promote health and to provide health care. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed differences in health care systems and crisis-management approaches across Nordic and Baltic countries. A consistent finding across these countries is that migrants, as well as women, have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic; both groups are more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19, and to be more impacted from the long-term consequences of government and public health responses. Lower vaccination intentions and uptakes have also been recorded both among migrant groups and among women.

Based on an analysis of migrant women experiences in three countries, the project aims to understand the impact of government and public health responses on migrant women during COVID-19, in particular by addressing the mechanisms which may have prevented their access to health information and/or vaccination.

Addressing the gender and diversity paradoxes in innovation – towards a more inclusive policy design (AGDA)

The AGDA project brings into sharper focus the gender-paradox of innovation, especially in the area of green transition, while seeking to provide a knowledge base and a shared platform for co-creating better practices for inclusion, diversity and gender equality through processes of programme ideation, design and implementation.

The project consists of a literature study, a synthesis of existing evaluation and monitoring frameworks and gender plans, as well as dialogues and a co-creation platform and networking of Nordic innovation and research funding bodies, their practitioner and key stakeholders and experts. The resulting framework will be co-created and tested, with the aim of supporting a more inclusive framework for innovation programming.

Sami women and sustainable development goal 5: Strategies for gender equality

With the objectives of gender equality and diversity in Sápmi, the project aimed to develop the gender equality policy for Sami people and the majority societies in order to strengthen democracy through participation and to contribute to knowledge and changes in attitudes.

The project had two objectives:

1. Creation of a community for discussion about the modern Sami woman’s needs and a platform for motivation and developing know-how, through workshops in the Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish/Russian parts of Sápmi, and

2. Empowering of Sami grassroot women who develop a gender equality strategy and plan in Sápmi.

Young voices for gender equality in the Nordic countries

The project aims to promote young people’s ownership of the gender equality issue as a driving force for a sustainable Nordic region. Nordic youth and student organisations will be recruited to the project, where key actors for gender equality and innovation take part.

Through the Design Thinking method and norm critical perspective the young people will be challenged to produce specific solutions related to the global sustainable development goals (Agenda 2030) – based on their perspective of equality, gender norms, democracy, segregated education and professional choices, digitalisation, climate change and diversity as value creators. The activities are connected through two networking sessions and a workshop in order to prepare the networking sessions.

Young parents, parental leave and gender equality

The project has produced an overview report of previous research and statistics from the Nordic countries on the topic of young parents’s fertility and cultural conceptions of parenthood, attitudes related to gender equality in parenting. parental leave rights and possibilities to take leave and share it equally between parents.

Youth and student NGOs were invited to participate in the gathering of information for the report, as well as in the discussion of the results. The final report was published in March 2022 and the results were discussed in a webinar in the beginning of April with a wider audience of researchers, civil servants, labour market organisations, youth NGO representatives and politicians from all the Nordic countries

Based on the findings of the overview, a research article (in Finnish) have been published in a the Finnish Youth Research Network. The overview is also expected to lead to further applications to produce new research on the take-up and consequences of parental leave by young people.

The project provided a more nuanced, age-specific understanding of the possibilities and obstacles of gender equality among young parents in the Nordic countries. The similarities and differences in different countries provide valuable input and inspiration for future policies and good practice in promoting a more equal sharing of leave also among young parents, reducing the obstacles of childbearing and improving the wellbeing of young mothers, fathers and their children.

Understanding gender inequality among caregivers in aging sector in Nordic countries

The project aimed at promoting new knowledge that contribute to the enhancement of gender equality among caregivers in the aging sector. The project has developed a broader network through two workshops, and conducted a small-scale study. The participants has contributed to the gathering of existing knowledge on women as caregivers in elderly service sector suffering from inequality and social injustices from diverse perspectives;

  •  how women’s career path as care service providers and the value of the job are apparently inconsistent;
  • how low salary and early retirement  interact with each other, and provide an unequal situation for women caregivers at the end of their career, which apparently affect their socio-economic status;
  • how policies prevailed in labor market interplay in Nordic welfare model when other job sectors are compared?

The project has developed a common understanding, and a methodology to address the issues presented above, identify concrete gaps, and specific socio-cultural challenges in given contexts. The results of the workshops has been used to produce a short report.

Exporting Nordic models of fatherhood, gender egalitarianism and parental leave

This project researched Nordic models of fatherhood and gender equality as hotbeds of welfare innovation and explores to what extent some countries are trying to ‘import’ similar models. Specifically, the project focused on countries that had attempted to follow Nordic models of parental leave with father quotas namely Germany, Japan and Slovenia.

The project compiled research on motivators, forces (actors) and outcomes (take-up) of father quotas in Iceland, Norway and Sweden and investigate to what extent, if any these dimensions are transformed when applied elsewhere. The obvious example was how gender equality motivations might be exchanged for fertility concerns outside Nordic countries. The project initiated a framing of how policies are spread between countries, in particular how Nordic parental leave policies are perceived and used as examples elsewhere.

The project resulted in an article The Nordic Model of Father Quotas in Leave Policies: A Case of Policy Transfer? published in Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society, 2021

Deconstructing structural inequality: gender equality in reindeer herding sámi communities

The primary purpose of the project was to develop a network to promote dialogue on gender-specific structural inequality in the reindeer herder communities. The participants contributed to the gathering of existing knowledge on the current situation of Sámi women in reindeer herding communities, in order to develop an understanding of the variation of roles of men and women in the communities. The project identified concerns and challenges that exist within the reindeer herding communities, related to gender inequality. The promotion of knowledge is aimed at developing recommendations for possible concrete actions in order to promote gender equality in the reindeer herder Sámi communities and in the Sámi community as a whole.

The overarching questions this project highlighted include: how structural inequality is perceived amongst Sámi reindeer herding communities, in particular of the Sámi inhabiting regions of the three Nordic countries (Finland, Norway and Sweden); what kind of gender-specific effects structural inequality may have in reindeer herding activities; how does structural inequality hinder, or negatively influence, the equal access to herding as livelihood practices for women; and how such practices provide implications for the enjoyment of human rights for the Sámi women.

The project resulted in a tool kit and a book Indigenous Peoples and Gender Equality with Special Reference to Sámi Reindeer Herding.

Co-creating gender equality from classroom to organization: Innovations in Nordic welfare

The project brought together a diverse set of stakeholders in three Nordic countries to participate in an exploratory co-creative workshop combining three interrelated topics: T1 Gender-influenced educational choices by young people, T2 Problems due to norms of masculinity in leadership, T3 Gendered organizational norms.

After a initial period of methodology development between the three partner teams, three workshops will took place in succession in three Nordic locations, namely Stockholm, Helsinki and Copenhagen. The workshops included business and academic leaders, educators, managers, students, volunteers, NGOs, educational institutions, and youth/student organisations, allowing them to discuss the topics in one shared forum as well as co-create solutions to these issues. Using the workshops as data, the research team analysed the insights to synthesize outcomes, i.e. policy and action strategies, and methods for addressing such organizational challenges in a Nordic context.

Results from the project is available on the digital platform:

Men in nursing education

This collaborative project between two gender equality centres and two universities looked at the underrepresentation of men in nursing in the Nordic countries. Men make up only 2 % of nurses in Iceland, 3,5 % in Denmark, and 9 % in Norway 2018. To advance gender equality in work life, it is important to increase the number of men in caring professions.

The project partners mapped institutional practices and interview faculty, administration, and students at selected nursing programs in Iceland, Denmark, and Norway. Based on the findings, we developed recommendations for recruiting and retaining men in nursing education. The results were shared in a report and journal article in 2018.

Updated 27 May 2020