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Splendid Isolation? On How a Non-member Is Affected by—And Affects—EU Gender Equality Policy

Part of the Gender and Politics book series (GAP)

Abstract

Although not a member of the EU, Norway is deeply affected by European integration, owing to its participation, since 1994, in the EEA Agreement which made Norway a full participant in EU’s internal market. Norway’s commitments to the EEA also apply to the area of gender equality policy. Yet, a comprehensive public inquiry report (NOU 2012: 2) on the consequences of Norway’s affiliation status concluded that EEA commitments and other EU agreements had limited impact on the scope and content of actual policy making in the gender area. This chapter will critically examine this claim through a discussion of EU influences on four core gender equality policy themes: antidiscrimination law, work-life balance, gender mainstreaming, and gender quotas for corporate boards. The chapter concludes with a re-assessment of how affiliation status has been shown to be relevant to policy development in this area.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    “Gender + equality” is a term borrowed from political science’s gender equality research: see summary and sources for the European research project QUING, led by Mieke Verloo, http://www.quing.eu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=17&Itemid=34, visited 10-28-14.

  2. 2.

    http://www.eftacourt.int/uploads/tx_nvcases/1_02_RH_EN.pdf.

  3. 3.

    For a comprehensive mapping of equality institutions in Europe, see for instance Andrea Krizsan, Hege Skjeie, and Judith Squires (eds). Institutionalising Intersectionality: The Changing Nature of European Equality Regimes. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2012

  4. 4.

    The Commission delivered two reports: NOU 2011: 18, Struktur for likestilling (Structure for equality) and NOU 2012:15 Politikk for likestilling (Policy for equality).

  5. 5.

    It is only the global #metoo movement, and a consequent series of harassment scandals within the major Norwegian political parties, that has moved establishment thinking towards a new solution in this respect.

  6. 6.

    However, in accordance with proposal from the Gender + Equality Commission, from 2018 on the parental leave will be split in three equal shares, 1/3 reserved for the mother, 1/3 for the father, and 1/3 as a shared period.

  7. 7.

    The Activity Duty in the Gender Equality Act was included in 1978 obliging all public authorities to make active, targeted and systematic efforts to promote gender equality. In 2008 the Activity Duty was extended to include ethnicity, religion and disability.

  8. 8.

    Ot. prp. nr. 77 (2000–2001), s. 25–33, https://www.regjeringen.no/contentassets/d495493b08ef4fdc9f46412c524f2466/no/pdfa/otp200020010077000dddpdfa.pdf.

  9. 9.

    Ot. prp. nr. 77 (2000–2001), s. 25–33, https://www.regjeringen.no/contentassets/d495493b08ef4fdc9f46412c524f2466/no/pdfa/otp200020010077000dddpdfa.pdf.

  10. 10.

    The gender composition of commissions etc. appointed by the government has been regulated since 1970s, and finally included in legislation in 1981, as part of the Gender Equality Act (Solhøy 1999).

  11. 11.

    However with the exception that Israel from 1999 the statuary requirement that all publicly traded companies should have at least one woman on the company board (Hughes et al. 2017).

  12. 12.

    http://www.womenlobby.org/Cracks-in-the-glass-ceiling-or-just-a-trick-of-the-light.

  13. 13.

    Article from the European Women’s Lobby on the European Commission’s Directive on Women on Boards, https://www.womenlobby.org/The-European-Commission-s-Directive-on-Women-on-Boards.

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Skjeie, H., Holst, C., Teigen, M. (2019). Splendid Isolation? On How a Non-member Is Affected by—And Affects—EU Gender Equality Policy. In: Dustin, M., Ferreira, N., Millns, S. (eds) Gender and Queer Perspectives on Brexit. Gender and Politics. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-03122-0_17

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