Europeanization processes and bodily politics: the Danish case

Helene Pristed Nielsen, Lise Rolandsen Agustín & Stine Thidemann Faber, Aalborg University

Danish gender equality policies have to a large extent been influenced by the European Union (EU) in areas such as equal pay provisions, equal treatment policies, gender mainstreaming and antidiscrimination. In the presentation we want to give a brief overview (state of the art) of the role played by the EU in Danish gender equality policies. Furthermore we want to focus on a less studied area of research in this regard, namely gender-based violence and, more broadly, bodily politics. Within this framework the EU holds a strong competence in areas such as trafficking and sexual harassment and no competence in relation to domestic violence, for example. By analyzing the cases of stalking, female genital mutilation and abortion, we argue that EU member states and public spheres influence each other in cross-border dynamics in various ways, also in areas where the EU holds no competences. Theoretically we take a broad approach to Europeanization by addressing policy influence as well as norm diffusion processes.

What is to be changed? An analysis of gender equality projects in Swedish higher education

Stina Backman and Åsa-Karin Engstrand, Linköpings universitet

Gender equality is basically an issue about justice and equal opportunities. It is also about ensuring a qualitative higher education and securing the academy’s legitimacy in society. Women and men should have equal opportunities and power in academia as well as in society to shape and develop their professional and private lives. At the same time a number of studies show that Swedish academia still is unequal and comes out worse than its European counterparts (Seierstad och Healy 2012). Additionally, women in academia also face prejudices, gender harassment and resistance. To combat this situation a number of equality initiatives have been launched. Although such initiatives have been evaluated in terms of their outcomes, we still need more knowledge on their very content and their relation to different types of policies.

The aim of this study is thus to analyse some equality initiatives within Swedish academia that have been carried through during the last decades. We focus on the methods and goals of these initiatives. What are these initiatives aiming at to accomplishing and change? Do they focus on recruitment in order to accomplish quantitative gender equality or do they focus on changing structures and cultures? Which role have research, education, internationalisation and gender equality policies in Europe and Sweden played for the content of the initiatives? Through this analysis and a comparison with a few studies we have conducted in our own university we wish to make visible the limitations of previous efforts and suggest what should be done in the future.


Europeanisation of gender equality - Nordic legal import/export

Kirsten Ketscher, University of Copenhagen

The focus of the paper is the different interpretative styles of the Nordic courts and the European Court of Justice. An important factor for ECJ is the Advocate General's opinions.  Selected AG opinions and decisions from the ECJ, Danish and Norwegian courts will be evaluated as to a dynamic contra restrictive style concerning equality issues. The different purpose of the national courts and the EU-court is a main explanatory factor.


Same-sex families - the road to equality

Hrefna Fridriksdottir, University of Iceland

The Nordic countries were forerunners in ensuring legal protection for same-sex families. Denmark coined the term "registered partnership" which Sweden, Norway and Iceland adopted and step by step these countries mirrored each others experiences and developments. This paper will discuss these developments in light of the principle of equality.


Religious Gender Models Split Europe

Jan Erik Grindheim, Think tank Civita

With the enlargements of the European Union (EU) in 2004 and 2007, several conservative so called catholic and orthodox countries joined the European community. Together with an increase in the number of muslims in Europe, this has politicised the question of equality and equivalence between women in Europe, and the question of women´s rghts has once again become political. Is this in good standing with the Union´s focus on universal rights and human dignity?

Bureaucracy of Gender Equality: Europeanisation in Nordic Context?

Laila Nordstrand Berg and Zuzana Murdoch, University of Agder

The Nordic countries are often viewed as frontrunners in the introduction and implementation of gender equality policies (Melby, Ravn, & Wetterberg 2008). Despite this, there is little knowledge of gender equality at the level of bureaucratic bodies that formulate and implement these policies, both within and beyond the countries. In this chapter we are addressing this gap of knowledge of gender equality. To do so, we build on the Representative Bureaucracy and policy diffusion literatures to assess two central aspects of this common perception. First, we evaluate whether the public bureaucracies in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden are de facto representative of their underlying population in terms of gender (both in general, and across ministries and hierarchical levels). This assessment of passive or descriptive representativeness provides a key indication of whether these countries merely ‘talk the talk’ of gender equality, or whether they also ‘walk the walk’. Second, we investigate the relative importance of three potential drivers of Nordic gender equality policies: i) broad-based popular preferences for gender equality within each country (i.e. bureaucracies’ active gender representation), ii) mimicking or learning from other Nordic neighbours (i.e. regional policy diffusion), and iii) local translations of the Brussel’s script embedded in EU directives, i.e. Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality, from the European Commission (2015). Our empirical evaluation of these research questions builds on three main sources of information for Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. First, we collect descriptive information about the gender composition of these four countries’ populations and public bureaucracies. Second, we exploit survey evidence documenting popular and bureaucrats’ preferences towards gender equality policies. Finally, we conduct a series of in-depth, semi-structured interviews with civil servants working in these four Nordic countries’ ministries responsible for gender policies.


Working title 1 (Meldt avbud fra samlingen)

Roger Klinth, Linköpings universitet

Jämställdhet mellan män och kvinnor är en integrerad del av den Svenska självbilden. Såväl i egna som i omvärldens ögon betraktas Sverige tillsammans med de övriga nordiska länderna som jämställdhetspolitiska stormakter. Till viss del har detta sin grund i de reformer som skapat förutsättningar för män, kvinnor och familjer i det svenska samhället. Till viss del är det också frukten av ett långsiktigt och målmedvetet arbete från olika aktörer med uppdrag och intresse av att sprida Sverigebilden i omvärlden. En av dessa är Svenska Institutet som är en statlig myndighet som sedan decennier tillbaka haft ett politiskt uppdrag att öka omvärldens intresse för Sverige och svenska förhållanden. I denna artikel görs ett antal nedslag i institutets informationsmaterial om svensk jämställdhet med start i boken Swedish Women – Swedish Men från 1968 och med avslutning i de material som våren 2016 fanns för nedladdning på institutets hemsida. Syftet med studien är att analysera hur begreppet jämställdhet har fyllts med mening under olika perioder samt hur denna förståelse har bidragit till att forma vår bild av och vårt agerande gentemot omvärlden. Teoretiskt är studien inspirerad av den amerikanska forskaren Jasbir Puars begrepp ”homonationalism” (Puar 2013), ett begrepp som öppnar upp för en förståelse av hur länder i västvärlden använder positivt laddade begrepp som strategiska resurser i såväl inrikes- som utrikespolitiska relationer. I den svenska kontexten kan ”jämställdhetsnationalism” på samma sätt ses som en politisk resurs. Inte minst sedan Sverige under 1990-talet blev en del av den europeiska unionen (EU) har jämställdhetsfrågor varit ett återkommande tema på den utrikespolitiska dagordningen.

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