As of 1 January 2014, the new Donor Programme Partner for the Programme is the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs. The previous Donor Programme Partner was the Ministry of Children, Equality, and Social Inclusion.
The Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufdir) is the central governmental office under the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion. The Directorate is instrumental in carrying out policies from the Ministry, and has a portfolio of policy implementation and funding tasks. The main target is to promote equality and work to end discrimination on the basis of gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and ethnicity. Bufdir is also the Norwegian governmental office for the welfare and protection of children and families.
The Norwegian Government Work on Gender Equality
The Government's policy aims to:
- Give women and men equal formal rights and combat all discrimination
- Ensure genuine equality between women and men through equal distribution of goods, responsibility and power
- Consider gender in the context of ethnicity, sexual orientation, disabilities, age and class
The Gender Equality Act
The Gender Equality Act protects against discrimination based on gender and aims to promote gender equality – women and men must have equal opportunities for education, employment and cultural and professional development. The Act protects both women and men, even though its purpose is to particularly improve the position of women.
The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud (in Norwegian LDO) supervises the Act and checks for compliance, processes complaints on violations of the Act and provides legal guidance.
Action Plan for Gender Equality
"Likestilling 2014" ("Gender Equality 2014"), is the Government’s action plan for gender equality and was launched in November 2011. The plan will be enforced from 2011 to 2014 and it will specify the Government's political aims for the gender equality field. The plan features 86 new initiatives that a number of Ministries are responsible for.
Mainstreaming Gender Equality
A key strategy of gender equality policy is to integrate the gender equality perspective in all policy planning on the central, regional and local levels.
The strategy of sector responsibility for gender equality applies to the Government's work. This means that each Ministry is responsible for gender equality within its fields of responsibility. The Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion has the coordinating responsibility for gender equality policies.
Municipalities with Gender Equality (Likestilte kommuner)
A new municipal programme has been established from 2012 called “Likestilte kommuner”, which aims to increase the competence and efforts in integrating the gender equality perspective in municipal policy design and services.
Gender and Equality in Working Life and Education
Gender equality in working life is a key part of gender equality policy, and several of the Ministries have responsibilities for that. Equal pay and education and choice of occupation have been considered important to gender equality in working life. Equal pay for work of equal value and a less gender segregated labour market are important principles in the work for equality in working life.
More women (40%) than men (12%) are working part-time. Part-time work is a challenge for genuine gender equality and has a clear gender equality aspect. While many women choose reduced working hours, involuntary part-time is a form of unemployment. More full-time employment for women is necessary for financial equality, and the ability to be self-reliant and earn a self-supporting income.
The Government's aim is that more occupations and positions shall have more gender balance, including at the director and managerial levels. The Government also aims to reduce the scope of involuntary part-time work so that those who wish to can work full time.
The Government wants the day-care and education sector to promote gender equality and combat all forms of discrimination. The goal is a more equal gender balance in all education and training.
Pay and Income Differences Between Men and Women
Women's taxable income constitutes approximately 66 per cent of men's income. Women's hourly pay is around 85 per cent of men's hourly pay. In 2010, the Government published a report to Parliament on efforts to achieve equal pay.
Gender and Power
An equal balance of women and men in all positions of power is vital if we want to create a democratic and equal society. We have achieved good results with a proportion of 40 % women in Parliament, but we have not satisfied our goals. The gender balance is most skewed among elected representatives on the local level. The challenges are greatest in local policy, where barely one mayor in four is a woman.
Norwegian law demands gender balance on the boards of large companies in both the public and private sector, with the exception of privately owned joint-stock companies. All the companies that come under this rule have now achieved gender balance on their boards.