Culture, Religion & Sports

The goal of gender equality has only recently begun to inform Norwegian cultural policies and policy making. One example is the focus on ensuring equitable allocation of public funding for the production of Norwegian film, an endeavor which has historically favored men.

In 2009, the initiative Art of Balance (Balansekunst) was established, when a couple of key institutions in the Norwegian music business got together to come up with easily accessible tools for stimulating some much needed action towards gender equality in the industry.

While religion remains part of Norwegian culture, humanism and secularization are on the rise. Immigration adds to this complexity, spurring discussion on the role of women and men in religious communities and broader public life. Use of religious symbols such as the hijab, or religious head scarf, as well as the question of honor-related violence, are heavily debated and of extreme legal and political interest.

On the whole, fewer resources are available to women in the field of sports. Although a greater number of women in Norway engage in regular physical activity as compared to men, women remain under-represented in publicly funded sports and athletic organizations. In addition, corporate sponsorship of women’s sports is considerably less than sponsorship of men’s sports.

There remains a level of resistance towards the participation of women in traditionally male dominated sports. An example is the resistance faced by women in the field of competitive ski jumping, a sport only recently opened up to women. Although a woman was officially scheduled to be the first to jump on the newly renovated Holmenkollen ski jump in 2010, a group of male ski jumpers made it a point of trying out the jump in advance, symbolically stealing the thunder of the female athletes and creating widespread political fallout.

Read more:
Statistics for culture and recreation
Research on gender and sports
The Art of Balance