Children and family

Equal opportunity

How families choose to organise their lives and tasks is up to them. All the same, notions about equality and equal opportunity are incorporated into laws and rights. No one living in Norway can ignore this. Equality is an important part of, for example, the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act, the Marriage Act, and the Inheritance Act.

One of the most important values in Norwegian society is equality between all people. This entails a belief that all people are inherently equal regardless of gender, age, ability, cultural background, ethnic original or sexual orientation. Society works to give everyone equal opportunities based on their abilities. Examples of this are special education offered by schools to students with varying disabilities and Norwegian language instruction for immigrants, the principle of equal pay for equal work, and so on.

Much has happened over the past few decades in terms of equality between the sexes. We have experienced a change in attitude towards men and women’s tasks and place, both in public life and home and family life.

Likestilling i arbeidslivet Likestilling i hjemmet

In the 1970s, there began to be increasingly more attention devoted to women’s rights in society and their opportunities in education and working life in general. Women have become considerably more active in the workforce and, today, almost just as many women as men hold a job. All the same, there continues to be typical men’s and women’s professions and many more women work part-time than do men.

Women often get an education in the fields of health care and education, while men are more inclined to study technology and science. Even though women make up 47 percent of the workforce, two out of three managers is a man.

In most families nowadays, especially young families, it is common for men and women to share household and child-raising chores, although women continue to spend more time on housework than men.


The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act

The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act was written in order to promote equality and prevent discrimination. The goal of the act is to give men and women equal opportunities to education, employment and cultural and professional development. The Act mandates that the government actively pursue this in all areas of social life.

It also instructs employers and business organisations to work towards achieving equality in the workplace and in organisational life. Differential treatment of men and women is not permitted, but a difference in treatment that promotes equality may be allowed.