Although the Nordic countries display many similarities in their views of democracy, gender equality and welfare, some differences can be found in the area of gender equality policy. It is therefore valuable to the Nordic countries to learn from each other, cooperate and discuss effective strategies to achieve various policy objectives.
The Nordic countries have cooperated in the area of gender equality for over 40 years. The cooperation, coordinated via the Nordic Council of Ministers, is guided by a special cooperation programme. From 2015 to 2018, the programme consists of two focus areas: the public space, and welfare and innovation. In addition, there are two cross-cutting themes: sustainable development with a focus on diversity, and men’s and boys’ active participation in the gender equality work.
The Nordic gender equality cooperation is led by the Nordic gender equality ministers in the Council of Ministers, who meet at least once a year. Between the meetings, the practical work is administered by the Committee of Senior Officials for Gender Equality, which consists of representatives from all Nordic countries and autonomous areas.
To generate knowledge that may be useful in Nordic policy discussions, the Nordic Council of Ministers has established Nordic Information on Gender, which goes by its Nordic acronym NIKK. NIKK’s primary task is to collect and disseminate national research, policy and practice in the area of gender equality in a Nordic perspective. NIKK is also in charge of a Nordic funding scheme where organisations can apply for funding for projects and collaborations related to gender equality. NIKK has been hosted by the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research since late 2012.
Nordic research cooperation
To strengthen the Nordic countries in their work with education, research and innovation, the Nordic ministers of education and research work together in the Nordic Council of Ministers.
The Nordic national research councils have established the NordForsk institute together with the Nordic Council of Ministers. NordForsk provides funding for and facilitates Nordic cooperation on research and research infrastructure. NordForsk supports several research programmes, including one titled Gender in the Nordic Research and Innovation Area. This programme aims to find ways to increase the representation of women in research and innovation.
The Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils in the Humanities and Social Sciences Nordisk is a collaboration between Nordic national research councils. The Committee supports cooperation among Nordic researchers by funding workshops.