Women thriving in local councils
It is no secret that Norwegian municipal councils have many challenges when it comes to gender equality. Nationwide, only just above a third of the council representatives are women. 401 out of 430 municipal boards have a male majority.
In the project ‘Showcasing women in local politics’, the Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and of Regional Development are spending 20 million kroner to do something about just this fact. The goal is an even distribution of men and women in the municipal councils, especially in leading positions.
KUN follows four municipalities in Trøndelag. The aim is to reveal possible gender differences in what is expected of members of municipal councils and in the experience of participating in municipal work.
The municipalities of Osen, Rissa, Steinkjer and Verdal have all been working systematically in order to make women thrive in local politics. Speech- and debate training, coaching, media training and network between female politicians across borders and parties are examples of measures initiated by the municipalities.
The work pays off! During the autumn of 2009 KUN conducted a survey among 113 municipal politicians in order to examine the efficiency of the abovementioned measures. The result is uplifting: the survey shows that women find the task of being the people’s elected interesting. They reported that they are taken seriously, and that they receive support for their causes. Women in the age group 40+ are the group who report the most positive experiences.
Among the younger men the picture is somehow different. Several report that there is a conflict between the position as an elected and their private life. The younger men also report on being met with less understanding and consideration of their own situation in trying to combine work and family life.
KUN concludes that the applied measures are successful and that it is important to include men of today, who often have custody of their children, when facilitating diversity in local politics.
“- I enjoy being involved
-participate in developing the municipality
-desire for power and influence”
(women in Nord-Trøndelag about why they wish to remain in local politics).
Publisert: 05.10.11 14:21
Sist oppdatert: 05.10.11 14:26
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