Gender Research for Gender Equality?

There is an obvious connection between public gender equality work and gender research, but it is not easily defined. Gender research is in some cases directly focused on current gender equality policies and in many cases delivers new data for politicians and bureaucrats to deal with. Research is to be free from political or other influences. Still, gender research is dependent on financing from public authorities.

The principle of academic freedom and integrity, that research is to be independent of various interests, is also true for gender research. Nevertheless, this field of research has been linked to the new women’s movement during the 1970s and 1980s, and to the gender equality work of today. And it is true that gender research produces knowledge relevant for gender equality policies, and it is involved in, for example, analysis of the preconditions, the methodologies and the effects of these policies.

Does this mean that gender research in Norway is always research for gender equality? A simple answer is no. Gender research is a multifaceted, interdisciplinary field of research with no common agenda or aim. As any other research field there are different schools and opinions, theories and methodologies, among researchers on how gender research relates to gender equality policies, for example. Some researchers see their work as direct or indirect contributions to gender equality work, while others question gender equality policies as being based on heteronormative, middle class or other biased assumptions about women and men. Some point out the risks of talking about “women" and “men" as groups, rather than “doing gender" as continually constructed and transformed.

Nonetheless, there is a close connection between gender research and gender equality - gender research delivers new knowledge and insights crucial for the gender equality debate and the work being done. In many cases new topics for political discussion and policy work have arisen from gender research - but the connection differs depending on the fields of study, on the need of or interest in new data and the current level of knowledge among practitioners and politicians etc. There are also other parties with valuable knowledge - in many cases it might be the non-governmental organisations (women’s movements, interest groups, organisations, etc.) that have the best knowledge of the actual situations and needs of, for example, disabled, age-discriminated or trafficked women.

Gender equality policies and their consequences are among the topics for projects undertaken within the research institute sector on behalf of public authorities and organizations in the private and public sector. 

Resources for Gender Research

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Centre for Gender Research, Oslo

The Centre For Gender Reseach at the University of Oslo is the largest gender research centre in Norway and has existed since 1986. The Centre offers a bachelor programme and master programme in Gender Studies and courses in Gender Studies at BA, MA and Phd level, in close collaboration with other departments and faculties at the University of Oslo. 

Read more at Centre for Gender Research

Center for Gender Studies, Trondheim

The Center for Gender studies at NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology is an integral part of the Norwegian Gender Research field. It is a member of the National Association of Gender Studies and is connected to both Nordic and international research networks. The Center offers courses and programmes at Bachelor, Master's and PhD level. The Center for Gender studies also runs the university-wide, cross-disciplinary network NTNU GenderHub.

Read more at the Center for Gender Studies (SKF)

Centre for Women's and Gender Research, Bergen

The Centre for Women’s and Gender Research (SKOK) at the University of Bergen is an interdisciplinary research centre that aims to service all the faculties at the University of Bergen. SKOK’s main objective is to strengthen women’s and gender research at the university as well as other research communities, both nationally and internationally. SKOK also offers a bachelor program in gender studies, a one-year program in gender studies and doctoral education within the field.

Read more at the Centre for Women's and Gender Research (SKOK)

Fafo

Fafo is an independent and multidisciplinary research foundation who works within both a domestic Norwegian and larger international context. A key to Fafo’s work on gender issues is the mainstreaming of gender issues in social analysis. All projects have an explicit aim to include gender as variable in the analysis, in line with a general holistic perspective on living conditions.

Search for gender research at Fafo's website

KUN Centre for Equality and Diversity

KUN Centre for Equality and Diversity is a non-governmental organization. KUN has two offices located in Steigen and Steinkjer, Norway. They conduc research, run workshops, arrange courses, conferences, and study trips on a broad range of topics. The essence of their work is to provide perspectives for change, as well as to bridge the gap between research and practice, by cooperating with government agencies, counties, municipalities and various business associations.

Read more at KUN's website

Centre for Equality, Hamar

The Centre for Equality is an inter-disciplinary expertise centre that since its inception in 1983 has worked to address equality issues in all layers of Norwegian society. Our role is to create and communicate theoretical and practical knowledge relating to equality that can be applied by public authorities, private enterprises and volunteer-based organisations. We do this primarily through research, counselling, courses and workshops, and the publication of reports, analyses and issue briefs.

Read more at the Centre for Equality

News

Men are more often than women fooled by placebo

26.03.2019

It was not until the 1990s that researchers fully began to include both genders in health research. Sara Magelssen Vambheim has contributed with valuable new insights in her study of gender differences in pain experiences.

Read more in the newsmagazine at Kilden genderresearch.no.

The EU raises the standard of Norwegian gender equality policies

22.05.2019

That the EU affects Norwegian gender equality policies has mostly proven to be a good thing. But an individual-oriented policy puts pressure on the social democratic approach, say researchers.

Read more in the newsmagazine at Kilden genderresearch.no.

New booklet: What is the Gender Dimension in Research?

19.12.2018

In the booklet «What is the Gender Dimension in Research?» Kilden genderresearch.no presents case studies from a variety of scientific fields.The book is made to help and inspire researchers who wish to apply a gender dimension in their research.

Read more at Kilden genderresearch.no

OPINION: The gender dimension should be broadly integrated in research

13.12.2018

The quality of research designed to solve our time’s social challenges is strengthened when the gender dimension is included, writes John-Arne Røttingen, director of The Research Council of Norway.

Read more at Kilden genderresearch.no

Intelligent robots may strengthen gender norms

30.11.2018

Machines and technology increasingly fill more and more human functions. According to researchers, society’s gender roles affect the development of robots and artificial intelligence, but technology may also shape ideas about gender.

Read more at Kilden genderresearch.no

European gender scholars unite in resistance against right-wing attacks

19.11.2018

How are Hungarian, Polish and Swedish gender scholars responding to criticism and campaigns to discredit their work? Not only do they emphasize the intrinsic value of gender studies - they also use humour to counter the anti-gender campaigns.

Read more at Kilden genderresearch.no

Knowledge about gender needs decolonising

23.10.2018

The legacy from colonialism characterises Norwegian academia. Now, Norwegian researchers want to examine their own disciplines and include non-western perspectives in the academic institutions’ scholarly production.

Read more at Kilden genderresearch.no

Domestic violence is a gendered problem

17.10.2018

The way in which we understand violence against women has changed, according to researcher Linda Sjåfjell. It used to be perceived as a gender equality problem, whereas today we explain it in more individual terms.

Read more at Kilden genderresearch.no

#MeToo kick starts Nordic research on sexual harassment

12.10.2018

We have asked stakeholders in the sector about the status of research on sexual harassment in Nordic academia in the wake of #MeToo.

Read more at Kifinfo.no

Podcast: A threat to academic freedom is a threat to women’s rights

19.11.2018

Academic freedom is threatened by authoritarian right-wing populism in countries in Europe and Latin America. Listen to a podcast discussing why this matters to women's rights.

Read more at Kilden genderresearch.no

Sexual harassment is about masculine power

17.01.2018

The #metoo campaign has shown that sexual harassment in the workplace is a large-scale societal problem. Now, researchers want to change focus from spicy stories to constructive debate on sexuality and power.

17.01.2018

Read more at Kilden genderresearch.no

Body-image pressure, school and worries make more girls mentally ill

13.03.2018

More and more young girls seek help for mental problems. “Generally, girls take things more seriously than boys. This applies to school, friends and family," says researcher Anders Bakken.

Read more at Kilden genderresearch.no

The contraceptive pill: A story of sexual liberation and dubious research methods

07.02.2018

In 1967, Norwegian women were finally allowed to decide for themselves when to get pregnant. The contraceptive pill has had enormous significance for women’s emancipation, but researchers doubt whether it would have been approved today.

Read more at Kilden genderresearch.no

Project explores the neo-liberal turn in the Nordic welfare states

16.01.2018

The Nordic welfare states have in recent decades been challenged by neo-liberal ideals. How does this affect the gender equality and the status of care work? This will be explored in a new Nordic research project.

Read more at NIKK - Nordic Information on Gender

Major gender gap in health research

19.06.2018

Women’s bodies are different from men’s. We need more knowledge to better understand women’s health, says medical doctor and Professor Johanne Sundby. She finds support in a new report on the same topic.

Read more at Kilden genderresearch.no

Women with reduced functional abilities are considered asexual

22.03.2018

To participate in the labour market and to have a family are things most people take for granted. Women with functional disabilities are deprived of many opportunities. The explanation may be both functional ability and gender, according to researcher.

Read more at Kilden genderresearch.no