What makes a good society?

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Ambassador Kamsvåg together with the students from Vedica Scholars Programme for Women.

How has Norway managed to be so gender equal? How do we get women to join the work force? How do you develop trust in a society? These, and many more questions were asked by students at the Vedica Scholars Programme for Women during an interactive session with Ambassador Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg.

Ambassador Kamsvåg visited the campus of the Vedica Scholars Programme today where he held a guest lecture for a very active and lively group of students.

What is the criteria of being able to develop strong and inclusive societies?

“Some of the main reasons making Norway a gender equal society lies in the availability of children’s day care facilities, paid maternity leave and compulsory paternity leave, all making it possible for women to become an equal contributor to the economy”, Kamsvåg explained.

During the tenure of Norway’s first female Prime Minister Gro H Brundtland in the 1980s, much of the foundation for Norway’s gender equality laws and policies were established. Gender quotas, maternity leave, family oriented work policies, women in higher education all improved during that period. This led to equal opportunities for both men and women to both be in the work force combined with family life.

“Trust is amongst one of the most important factors for creating a good society” Kamsvåg said. On asked about how to develop trust, the Ambassador highlighted that research point to strong, transparent institutions to be the key for any country to do well, and a real necessity for building trust. The Norwegian welfare system is based on strong institutions and trust amongst its citizens.

Vedica Scholars Programme for Women aims at creating a cadre of successful women professionals. It is an 18 month full-time, residential, professional certificate in management practice and leadership program. The programme is a combination of classroom learning, hands-on work experience, and mentoring and coaching by academics and professionals. The age-range of the students is 23 - 29, and they come from all parts of the country.

On successful completion of the programme, the Scholars are awarded a Professional Certificate in Management Practice and Leadership, offered jointly by the Vedica Foundation and the Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication.