Information and Resources on Gender Equality and Gender Research in Norway

Women's History

Today was partly devoted to women’s history.

Starting in November, KILDEN - together with the Norwegian Association for Women's Rights - will hold four seminars on the women’s movement in the '70s.

As in many other countries, the seventies in Norway were years with a strong and visible women’s movement. The struggle for women’s rights brought results in the form of changed attitudes and practices and changed social relations in our society. Also, the government changed and accepted responsibility for implementing equality and a welfare system that benefitted women.

Those of us who came along later, who became involved in feminism, equal rights work or gender research after the golden era of the '70s, have always worked in the shadow of those great times.

But as the years have gone by, the opinions differ on what actually happened back then, and on what impacts that decade actually had. Today, some feel that '70s feminism is outdated, while others think that it is still valid and relevant.

So, with these four seminars, we aim to revisit the '70s. Activists from that time will tell their stories, and will put events and activities into perspective. We ask them: what actually happened and what can we learn from those years? We have also invited women who were active in women’s issues before the '70s, and women who are working on gender issues today.

The first seminar will also celebrate Torild Skard, who will turn 70 years old that same day. Torild was the first woman President of the Upper Chamber of the Norwegian Parliament, from 1973 to 1977. She has also served as Director General and Assistant Secretary-General of the Norwegian Ministry for Development Cooperation and as a Senior Adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in addition to several positions in UN agencies. She is currently a researcher at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs in Oslo, where she focuses on gender and development issues. Recently, she was also elected as chair of The Norwegian Association for Women's Rights, an NGO founded in 1884 and that started out by working for women’s suffrage, but now works on a wide range of women’s issues.

KILDEN has several other history projects under the umbrella, Women in Norway through 100 years.

We have made web exhibitions on the struggle for women's right to vote in the 1880s, on women in the trade union movement, on the women’s movement of the '70s, and a photo exhibition of women in the universities 1880-1940. Unfortunately, the exhibitions are in Norwegian only, but we hope to translate at least some of the material to English.

We also have two new exhibitions in progress: "Unheard voices", portraits of women who were in the resistance movement during World War II and who later became active in the political left or the peace movement; and a literature-history exhibition in which Norwegian history will be told through literary figures by women authors.

If you care to look at the exhibitions, even though they are not translated, you can find them here:

This is my last day of gender blogging. On Monday Henriette Thune from the University of Stavanger will start her gender blog.


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