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Ministers initiate research on sexual harassment at work

The Nordic Council of Ministers supports joint research on sexual harassment at work with 3,7 million Danish crowns.  The initiative is especially focused on prevention and methods for intervention through industry studies and comparative studies of different industries. Other topics for the Finnish presidency are hate and threat, men’s care responsibility and norms in preschools.

Violence, harassment and other forms of vulnerability at work are major societal challenges with serious consequences for individuals and workplace organisations. At the same time there are major gaps in our knowledge about methods for preventing and stopping violence and harassment, protecting victims and being proactive in workplace environments. 

 “Although our awareness about sexual harassment has increased in recent years, the phenomenon has by no means disappeared. Research and evidence-based knowledge has an important role in developing new and effective measures to combat sexual harassment, says Thomas Blomqvist, Finnish Minister for Gender Equality and Nordic Co-operation and newly appointed Chairman for the Nordic gender equality and LGBTI cooperation. This is an extremely important issue, where Nordic cooperation and exchange of knowledge can bring great added value.” 

Thomas Blomqvist. Photo:
Thomas Blomqvist. Photo:

This is a cross-sectoral research initiative jointly with several sectors within the Nordic cooperation. The collaborative sectors are gender equality, culture, working life and the Nordic Committee for Children and Young People. Further sectors may be added at a later date. 

Objectives for the initiative 

The overarching objectives of the initiative are:  

  • To contribute towards new knowledge on sexual harassment at work in the Nordic countries, with a focus on preventive measures and intervention methods.  
  • To contribute towards a good knowledge base for policy development and to cross-sectoral Nordic collaboration.  
  • For the research to be of high academic quality, practice-based and well communicated.  
  • To be relevant to the collaborative sectors involved, for affected industries and for the working life actors  

The research initiative spans over 2021 – 2023 and is administered by Nordic Information on Gender, NIKK, on behalf of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Two calls will be made during 2021.  

Activities against hate and threats

Apart from the research initiative the Finnish presidency will, within the Nordic gender equality cooperation, also focus on activities against hate and threats, especially harassments on the net. Issues about norms and gender stereotypes will also be in focus, especially concerning preschools. Regarding these issues a Nordic survey will be made, with present research, reports and legislation and a Nordic conference will be arranged, to present new knowledge and exchange experiences.  

Men’s care responsibility, fatherhood and parental leave are also issues that will be highlighted during the year. The Finnish presidency continues to establish the new policy area concerning rights, treatment and possibilities for LGBTI people. In November this will be the focus of a conference.

Updated 22 March 2021