About Helga Pedersen

Norwegian politician, parliamentary leader of the Norwegian Labour Party. Photo: Knut Aaserud.

More mountains will move

The newly elected government that assembled in front of the Norwegian royal palace on May 9, 1986, shattered the glass ceiling of the executive power and changed Norwegian politics forever. The government led by Gro Harlem Brundtland, Norway’s first female prime minister, was truly unique. Eight out of 18 ministers were women. The “Women’s government” made it to the frontpages all over the world. “The day mountains moved” is the inscription on a monument at Sakai School for Girls in Osaka, Japan. Next to this inscription, the names of the Norwegian female ministers are inscribed.

Female political participation is the key to a more egalitarian society. There is a red thread from the suffragettes to the battle for abortion rights, from “the Women’s government” to recruiting more female representatives in company boards of directors. Today, Norwegian women have the fortune of having the world’s most equal rights to men. Still, we need more female leaders in the private sector, universities and court systems. We need more female politicians and mayors. The more women get involved in all sectors of society, the bigger the chance is that women can participate on equal terms, that our perspectives will count as much as those of men, and that we will win future battles for full gender equality.

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