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Parental leave, Care Policies and Gender Equalities in the Nordic Countries

Conference arranged by the Nordic Council of Ministers 21–22 October 2009, Reykjavik, Iceland

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What family forms are recognised in established Nordic and welfare policies? Which family values and parental models should be given political priority in a multi-ethnical society? Would part-time leave be ideal from a gender equality perspective? These were some of the questions raised at the conference ‘Parental Leave, Care Policies & Gender Equalities in the Nordic Countries’ in Reykjavik on 22 October 2009. The conference was arranged by the Centre of Gender Equality in Iceland on behalf of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Security during the Icelandic presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Researchers presented their preliminary results, compared the differences between the Nordic countries and discussed how we reach the goal of a gender-equality, friendly welfare state with reconciliation between personal and professional life where we serve the needs of men, women and children. The report contains notes from the conference, speeches, workshop discussions and links to PowerPoint presentations.

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Parental leave and gender pay gap – What, if any, are the effects of different systems of parental leave on gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap has for some decades been regarded as one of the most serious obstacles to the gender equality desired by the Nordic countries. Countless conferences have been held about the problem, reports have been written and studies have been made. And when one compares all that material on the one hand and the development of the problem on the other one is reminded of the old saying that when all is said and done, there is a lot more said than done. But within the realm of the research program presented here it is of course necessary to consider this problem and compare the gender pay gap with the different systems of parental leave and, on the whole, different care policies. But this is very much a work in progress and no conclusions will be presented, only ideas and suggestions.

English

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