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Requesting a broader approach to gender equality in the Nordic countries

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The Nordic gender equality cooperation should not be limited to gender, but should also consider aspects such as ethnicity and sexual orientation. This is a recurring view in the questionnaire responses recently submitted to NIKK by 89 organisations and 389 individuals from all Nordic countries.


The Nordic gender equality ministers are planning a new cooperation programme for the period 2015-2018, and the purpose of the questionnaire was to gather ideas about how the new programme should be designed. One response reads: ‘We recommend an intersectional approach also in the gender equality work. For the gender equality work to be successful and meaningful for everybody, it is important that factors such as sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity, functionality etc. be considered. The work could benefit from the many knowledgeable actors in the LBGT and anti-racism movements.’

Many respondents favour a broad approach targeting many different areas. However, labour market issues, education and gender-based violence are areas with particularly high priority.

The results also stress gender mainstreaming as an effective method. Gender mainstreaming means that the gender equality perspective permeates all decision-making within an organisation.

Broad response a good foundation for future work

The respondents included government agencies, research institutes and voluntary and interest organisations from across the Nordic region, such as the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL), the Equality Ombudsman, KILDEN, Minna – Center for Gender Equality Information in Finland, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions and The Feminist Movement in Iceland.

‘It’s great that so many different types of organisations responded. Thanks everybody for responding! This gives us a good understanding of how the Nordic gender equality cooperation is perceived and what it should look like in the future,’ says Josefine Alvunger, Head of Operations, NIKK.

The Council of Ministers for Gender Equality is developing a new cooperation programme for 2015-2018, and NIKK’s questionnaire is just one of the different ways used to gather valuable input.

Updated 6 October 2020