Gender equality in the Faroe Islands: Positions and oppositions

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The Faroe Islands have long-standing political and cultural connections to Denmark. One consequence is that gender equality legislation; family policy and the welfare system bear clear resemblances to the Nordic welfare model. However, whilst there is a general consensus in the Nordic countries, that values of gender equality are important for national identity (Andersen & Ravn, 2008; Þorvaldsdóttir, 2011), this does not appear to be the case in the Faroe Islands. Publicised cases, e.g. discussions of paternal leave in Parliament, the gender equality legislation and policy have been subject to strong resistance and backlash, with essentialist, liberalist, and island identity arguments put forward against gender equality measures (Hayfield, 2020). The Faroe Islands, therefore, appear to be positioned somewhere in-between receptivity (of Nordic egalitarian discourses) and resistance (to gender equality discourses). This paper will explore these tensions by analysing political discussions relating to gender equality legislation and policy.

Andersen, C., & Ravn, A.-B. (2008). Gender equality and welfare politics in Scandinavia. In K. Melby, A.-B. Ravn, & C. C. Wetterberg (Eds.), Gender equality and welfare politics in Scandinavia: The limites of political ambition (1st ed., pp. 135–148). Bristol University Press.
Hayfield, E. A. (2020). Parenting and islands: Constructing gender and work in the Faroe Islands. In F. Gaini & H. Pristed Nielsen (Eds.), Gender and Island Communities (pp. 100–118). Routledge.
Þorvaldsdóttir, Þ. H. (2011). The gender-equal North: Icelandic images of femininity and masculinity. In S. R. Ísleifsson (Ed.), Iceland and Images of the North (pp. 407–410). Presses de l’Université du Québec.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022
EventDansk kønsforsknings indre og ydre rammer - Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 18 Aug 202219 Aug 2022


ConferenceDansk kønsforsknings indre og ydre rammer
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