About us

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.

Alt­hough much of our work con­cerns itself with gender-based equality issues, we work with a broad defi­nition of equality that includes most potential reasons for discri­mi­nation: eth­nicity, sexual ori­en­tation and disabilities.

Our work focuses on four main issues:

Civic par­ti­ci­pation

Equality is the foun­dation of democracy. Every citizen, regardless of their back­ground, disa­bility or identity, must have the opport­unity to par­ti­cipate in democratic decision-making and civil society. A democracy thus need to ensure that the diversity of per­s­pec­tives and expe­ri­ences in the civil popu­lation are repre­sented on all levels of decision-making.

Nor­wegian equality policies require that all public aut­horities and insti­tu­tions work met­ho­di­cally and pur­posely to increase equality and combat discri­mi­nation. This in turn requires a sys­te­matic, con­ti­nuous and research-based approach, as many of the obstacles to equality in civic par­ti­ci­pation cannot be found in overt pre­ju­dices and atti­tudes, but hidden in the struc­tures of public aut­horities and practices.

The Centre for Equality:

Children, Youth and Development

To create an equal society, it is essential to address equality in the social environment in which our children grow up.

The learning and repro­duction of gender-based ste­reo­types begins even before a child is born, and con­tinues throughout their childhood and ado­le­scence. This is when narrow norms of gender identity and beha­viour becomes internalised.

In order to ensure that children are allowed to grow and unfold to their full potential, it is necessary to prevent peda­go­gical prac­tices that encourage limiting notions of gender identity. The goal is not to make girls and boys as alike as pos­sible; it is rather to help them under­stand that there are hundreds of dif­ferent ways of being “boys” and “girls” – and that none of them are “right” and “wrong”. Our research show that current prac­tices in kin­der­g­artens and early edu­cation fall far short of this ideal.

The Centre for Equality’s work addresses:

Equality at work

Equality at work entails giving every emp­loyee, regardless of age, gender, natio­nality, eth­nicity, religion, sexual ori­en­tation or disa­bility equal rights and opport­u­nities in their work­place and in building their careers.

Despite being one of the countries with the highest level of measured equality, Norway still expe­ri­ences sig­ni­ficant equality issues in the work­force. The gender dis­tri­bution between the private and public sector is skewered, with women vastly under­re­pre­sented in the former and over­re­pre­sented in the latter. Men still occupy the majority of lea­dership positions. Women are far more likely to be emp­loyed on part-time con­tracts, and the gender wage gap is far from eradicated.

Similar dispa­rities can be found based on eth­nicity, disa­bility and age. In order to develop a work­force that reflects and benefits from the full spectrum of diversity in our society, both emp­loyers and emp­loyees need know­ledge relating to the struc­tures, prac­tices and atti­tudes that prevent equal opport­u­nities for all. It is of paramount impor­tance to increase awa­reness about the explicit and implicit pre­ju­dices that influence work environ­ments, hiring, salaries, and promotions.

The Centre for Equality:

Public ser­vices

From schools and hos­pital to waste mana­gement and libraries, public ser­vices touch upon and influence many aspects of the lives of all citizens. Public service pro­viders thus have to be able to rec­ognise and meet the diversity of needs in a diverse popu­lation. Atti­tudes and pre­ju­dices may, impli­citly or expli­citly, influence one’s pro­fes­sional sense of jud­gement. Our work has docu­mented how men and women are treated dif­fe­rently by public service pro­viders, resulting in tangible dif­fe­rences in the ser­vices pro­vided based on gender.

Ste­reo­types per­taining to gender, eth­nicity, age or disa­bility may the­refore shape the quality of the ser­vices pro­vided to citizens. Through research, assess­ments and awareness-raising, the Centre for Equality aims to ensure that public ser­vices maintain high stan­dards of quality, effi­ciency and equality.

The Centre for Equality: 

Infor­mation folder