The public event featured panellists debating what is needed to increase the number of women assuming leadership positions in global health and in the UN landscape in general. Central in Ambassador Brattskar’s address was the argument that in order to achieve a higher number of women leaders, including in global health, we need to see a work life that facilitates women having leadership positions, as well as being family care providers.
Referring to measures that have been successfully adopted in Norway, Ambassador Brattskar pointed out that “Domestically, we have for many years invested in the availability of kindergartens, including at subsidized prices, flexibility regarding work hours, the right to paid leave when the child is ill, universal welfare schemes, such as an extensive parental leave scheme (from 18 weeks in 1977 to 49 weeks with full pay today), including rights for both mother and father.” He also underlined that Norwegian policies includes a strong focus on the role of the fathers, and the importance of strengthening this for the benefit of the entire family.
The public event provided an opportunity to take stock of the Geneva Gender Champions initiative (genevagenderchampions.com) including the pledges made by the Nordic countries in Geneva to strive for a balance of work and family life for both women and men. On this note, Ambassador Brattskar pointed out that “A culture for working effectively while at work, but not being required to regularly work late” is one concrete measure that should be observed.
Read more about the event here.