The Nordic Gender Equality Model
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In this chapter, we investigate the descriptive premises involved in portrayals of a Nordic model of gender equality. Mainly, we focus on the equality dimensions that form the baseline in comparative welfare state research and research on political participation. We outline these dimensions as norms for economic equity and democratic parity. First, we examine whether and how descriptive statistics that assess these two dimensions currently rank Nordic countries compared with other European countries among the member states of the European Union. For this, we utilize the EU’s Gender Equality Index. We then search for comparable statistics on outcome and performance that include the Nordic non-EU members Norway and Iceland to explore similarities and differences within the Nordic region, as well as see how these countries compare to the Nordic EU members: Denmark, Finland and Sweden. Finally, we approach the question of policy models, discussing whether it is possible to identify a distinctive policy profile common to the Nordic countries for how to promote economic equity and democratic parity. We conclude this investigation with a set of what we regard as informed speculations regarding how policy might matter to gender equality in the Nordic countries today.