Dear Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen.
In Norway, gender equality has been our political goal for decades. And this has led to results. Do you know what have been Norway's most important investment? Women.
When women entered the labour market, our economy boomed.
Norway is one of the most gender equal countries in the world.
In the Norwegian government, the four party leaders are all women.
The Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Finance are all women.
This has taken us time and I think it is fortunate to say that we have to facilitate the labour market for participation for both men and women.
This system builds an infrastructure of equality.
To gain equality in the labour market, we need equality at home.
In Norway, the parental leave is 49 weeks with 100 per cent pay or 59 weeks with 80 percent pay - and with quotas reserved for each of the parents:
- 1/3 of the parental leave for the mother.
- 1/3 for the father.
- And 1/3 for the parents to share as they like.
These welfare schemes are costly.
But it is an investment that pays off.
Because it is the right thing to do.
The smart thing to do.