Public policy, gender equality and labour markets:

Public policy, gender equality and labour markets

Policy making in the Nordics is characterised by the welfare state and a culture of working together, from the cross-party parliamentary culture, to tripartite negotiations between the government, employers and employees, to gender inclusiveness in the workplace. Many of these aspects are seen as making up what is often referred to as the Nordic model. However, gender segregation within the workforce remains high and other complex paradoxes exist that must not be overlooked. This page seeks to provide articles on both the traditional view of the Nordics as well as research that deconstructs that view. New articles are added on a regular basis.


Even though the Nordic countries have high levels of gender equality, the caring professions, such as working in daycare or with the elderly, are dominated by female workers.

2019.02.22 | Article, Astrid Elkjær Sørensen, Gender, Labour markets

Gender segregation in the Nordic labour market

Since the 1960s the Nordic countries have been renowned for their high level of gender equality as they have amongst the world’s highest employment and education rates for women. At the same time the Nordic countries also have greater horizontal segregation by sex than the rest of the EU, that is, most women work in different occupations than most…

2019.02.22 | Film, Saara Ratilainen, Media, Gender, Research, The Nordics in the World

Russian fans interacting with Nordic television series (the case of Shame)

This presentation is from a transdisciplinary research workshop entitled Nordic Noir, Geopolitics and the North held at Aarhus University in October 2018.

Input from labour market organisations and other interest groups can be fed into decision making from the local to the national level. Photo: Benjamin Child, Unsplash.

2019.02.21 | Article, Norbert Götz, Public policy, Democracy

Corporatism and the Nordic countries

Corporatism is about the influence of organisations and interest groups on policy making. The Nordic countries are societies with strong interest groups, acknowledged and privileged by the state, that wield considerable influence on policy making and implementation. Corporatism, or neo-corporatism, is found within industrial relations, but is also…

National trade union confederations have played an important role in Nordic society and politics throughout the twentieth century. Today, their role is increasingly challenged.

2019.02.19 | Article, David Redvaldsen, Labour markets

Labour movement in the Nordic countries

The 'labour movement' refers to the network of political, industrial, voluntary, educational and recreational organisations with a socialist or labour ethos. From the late nineteenth century, its aim was to improve living and working conditions for blue-collar workers and their families, and was organised around national trade union…

Utlendingsdirektoratet, Norwegian Directorate of Immigration. Photo: Brage.aronsen, Wikimedia

2019.02.18 | Article, Kristina Bækker Simonsen, Multiculturalism, Public policy

Political approaches to immigration in Scandinavia since 1995

Immigration has been described as one of the policy areas where Denmark, Norway and Sweden have differed most since 1995. In 2018, Denmark was amongst the most restrictive countries in Western Europe, Sweden the most liberal and Norway somewhere in-between. These differences can be explained, at least to some extent, by divergent approaches to…

Despite being latterly less popular, Nordic trade union confederations still provide millions of workers with advice and the public with information. Photo: a graph by the Swedish LO showing the percentage of unionisation by work type and gender.

2019.02.18 | Article, John Logue, Labour markets

Trade unions in the Nordic countries

Trade unions play a more important role in Nordic politics and economics than they do in most other countries. This is largely a result of their organisational success, which has made them key actors in policymaking as well as in collective bargaining.

2019.02.18 | Article, Anne Heith, Culture, Gender

1970s feminist culture in the Nordics

The feminist movement that flourished in the Nordic countries during the 1970s had strong roots in anti-capitalist, socialist ideology. It was powered by a host of social events, community building, artistic creation and political activism.

Vintage typewriter. Photo: Florian Klauer. Unsplash.

2019.02.18 | The Quick Read, Kristina Sjögren, Education

Creative writing courses in the Nordics

Courses ranging from evening classes and short, focussed courses to full-time university programmes reflect a broad interest in studying creative writing in the Nordic countries.

Wage policies in the 1950s led to greater wage equality.

2019.02.18 | The Quick Read, John Logue, Law, Labour markets

Solidaristic wage policy

Solidaristic wage policy refers to the practice, noticeably carried out in Sweden during the 1950s, of limiting wages in the most profitable sectors and increasing wages in less profitable sectors. It was carried out in order to achieve more equal wages on a national basis. It also had the consequence of heightening economic competitiveness…

A poster from a 2010 demonstration against the Danish government's plan to pass a number of money-saving measures including reduce the period of unemployment compensation from four to two years. The law was subsequently passed. Photo: Musernes Samlinger (Arbejdermuseet).

2019.02.15 | Article, John Logue, Labour markets, Democracy

Labour markets in the Nordics

National labour markets in the Nordic countries reflect trade union and Social Democratic principles of full employment and solidarity, while conforming to the conditions of capitalist market economies. They combine high levels of labour force participation with excellent systems of unemployment compensation. Throughout the region there is now a…

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