The Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy

Justifications of Gender Equality in Academia: Comparing Gender Equality Policies of Six Scandinavian Universities

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Gender equality in academia is often perceived as receiving more emphasis in Norway and Sweden than in Denmark. But how do the public research institutions in the three countries approach issues of gender equality differently? This study investigates how activities related to gender equality are articulated and justified in the policy statements of six Scandinavian universities. The analysis reveals some interesting disparities between the countries. In short, the Danish universities seem to be reluctant to deal with gender equality on the basis of rights-based assumptions. While the Norwegian and Swedish universities juxtapose arguments of utility, innovation, justice, and anti-discrimination, the Danish universities primarily refer to aspects of competitiveness, utility, and innovation when justifying activities on gender equality. The article suggests that the lack of justice-oriented perspectives in the Danish statements is an illustrative example of how neo-liberal managerial ideas about work-place productivity and creativity entail new and more instrumental approaches to gender equality issues in academia.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research
Pages (from-to)187-203
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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