Role model: Norway
With the third highest birth rate in Europe and 85 percent working women in the age between 25 and 54 years Norway is a prime example for successful reconciliation of family and career. What were they able to do, what others apparently can’t?
Fundamental changes in politics, businesses and thus in the whole society made it possible to create a new way of leading a satisfying career and family life. In the last two decades several measures were launched to path the way for a newNorway.
Paternity leave is fostered since 1993: Parents are getting parents money while taking care for their children in the first year after the birth (80 percent of the wage) – and 14 weeks are reserved for fathers. This means that if the father does not take the 14 weeks this parental leave time is lost as it can’t be switched to the mother.
A place in the kindergarten for every child: Norway has expanded nurseries and kindergartens extensively to make sure that childcare and professional life are not mutually exclusive. Since 2009 it is a statutory right in Norway for all children between the ages of 1 and 5 to have a place in a kindergarten.
More than ten years ago the discussion about a women’s quota started and in 2008 Norway enshrines a quota in the law. Fears regarding disadvantageous effects (e.g. the fear that there are not enough qualified women for selection) did not become true and all in all the quota can be called a success.
Still there is a way to go – not only for Norway’s follower (Germany for example also fosters parental leave and expands places in nurseries), but also for the country itself: Still there is a discrepancy in the wages between men and women and the most part-time jobs are covered by women. Anyway –Norway achieved a lot of its targets and is a good example of how political measures can lead to fundamental changes in the whole society of a nation.