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NIKK to contribute to global sustainability goals

In late May, the prime ministers of the Nordic countries launched a joint initiative called Nordic Solutions to Global Challenges. The aim is to spread Nordic experiences related to environmental management, gender equality and social welfare in order to contribute to global sustainable development. The Nordic Council of Ministers, which is coordinating the initiative, has asked NIKK to serve as a cooperation partner in the area of gender equality. ‘This is the first Nordic prime minister initiative focusing on gender equality, and NIKK has the foremost expertise in that field,’ says Julia Fäldt Wahengo.

Gender equality has been on the Nordic agenda for over 40 years. Several progressive gender equality reforms have been implemented, including individual taxation and gender-neutral parental insurance, making the Nordic countries pioneers in the field. The intention is for the new prime minister initiative to contribute to the international cooperation around the UN’s 17 global sustainable development goals, of which gender equality is one. The three main themes of the initiative have been named Nordic Green, Nordic Gender Effect and Nordic Food and Welfare.

Nordic Information on Gender (NIKK) is a partner of the Nordic Council of Ministers within the framework of the Nordic Gender Effect, a flagship project under the prime minister initiative. The aim of the project is to gather Nordic research and knowledge in order to contribute to more effective international efforts in the areas of gender equality (Sustainable Development Goal 5) and decent work (Sustainable Development Goal 8). A number of focus areas where the Nordic experiences are considered valuable have been identified, including parental leave systems, childcare and gender-equal organisation and leadership.

‘NIKK is the only organisation with a good overview of the developments in the field of gender equality in all Nordic countries. We can’t think of a better partner. By taking advantage of NIKK’s expertise, we hope to be able to invite other organisations, regions and countries to collaborations,’ says Julia Fäldt Wahengo from the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The intention is for the knowledge material to meet the rapidly growing demand and increase the curiosity regarding the Nordic knowledge and practical experience of gender equality work, but also to invite to dialogue and cooperation around the challenges that remain in both the Nordic region and globally.

‘We have an important role in contributing to the analysis and contextualising the gender equality and work-related issues, from both a Nordic and a global perspective. We hope our participation in the Nordic Gender Effect project will draw attention to the need for critical perspectives and gender research in the work for global sustainable development,’ says Ulrika Jansson, analyst at Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research.

The first year of the three-year Nordic Gender Effect project will be spent gathering and packaging material. In the second and third years, there will be a focus on presenting and disseminating the material and its message.

‘The Nordic countries are in a unique position. Considering our positive experiences in the field, we see it as our responsibility to stand up and take the lead in the area of gender equality. Together with NIKK, we hope to be able to contribute to more organisations and countries around the world giving priority to gender equality,’ says Julia Fäldt Wahengo.

Updated 16 January 2020