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Are the Nordic countries as egalitarian as is often claimed regarding the positions of men and women?

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  1. Theoretical framework that underpins this analysis
  2. How far the Nordic countries have achieved gender equality and to what extend we can speak about a Nordic model in terms of equality between men and women
  3. Clear differences can still be found regarding the position of women and men in the Nordic countries and that broad variations also exist within the Nordic region

In matters of gender equality, the Nordic countries are often regarded as pioneers in promoting the same. They enjoy the reputation of having achieved gender equality much more closely than most of the other countries in the world, and they are often seen as path breakers regarding the promotion of equal opportunities for men and women. In the gender-related indexes of the UN Human Development Report, the Nordic countries are placed at the very top among the 163 countries that were shortlisted (R.Kjeldstad, 2001). From an outsider's point of view, it appears that Nordic women improved their status and gained power in various areas earlier than other women in the world. Integration of a broad proportion of women into politics, a high rate of labor market participation, and a highly developed public welfare sector, including caring and service provision, are some grounds for the status conferred on them.

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