CROSS MEN OUT!
WOMEN’S COUP D’ETAT CHANGED NORWAY

Written by Mariko Mitsui
Published by Mainichi Newspapers Co.,Tokyo,Japan,1999
264 pages. 20 photoes. 12 tables. 1800 yen.
ISBN4-620-31287-8

In 1997 Norway ranked as the world top among 175 nations in the Gender Empowerment Measure, according to the United Nations Development Program study.

Back in 1965, it had been a nation where nine out of ten mothers with young children stayed home as good old-fashioned housewives.

The book recounts how the remarkable change came about mainly on the basis of information derived from personal interviews with a former prime minister, NHO president, the husband of Minister for Gender Equality, feminist advocates, the Ombud for Gender Equality, local councilors and young students. Additional information was sought from a variety of printed sources.

 




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Copyright (c) 2001
MARIKO MITSUI WORLD
bekokuma@hotmail.com

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preface

Chapter I  

NORWAY AND I

*A news item in a 1986 newspaper
*Equal Employment Opportunity Law in Japan
*Studying in the United States
*Lobbying a state legislature
*The Japanese Diet sans women
*Why are there so many women legislators in Norway?
*A Miracle victory
*Politics left to men

(table1: Women’s Empowerment in Norway and Japan)

Chapter II WIFE WHO MOVED HER HUSBAND

1 Prime Minister Borten, Leader of Women’s Campaign
*To Trondheim
*My daddy, college teacher and councilor
*A male prime minister holds reins on women’s movement
*The prime minister’s reminiscences
*Women didn’t believe in women
*A wife effect
*I am just a middle-of-the-road politician
*The impact of the quota system
*Single-member district system is hostile to gender
*A veteran statesman for women’s lib

(table 2: Gender Empowerment Measure by UNDP)

2 Male Journalist on Nine-Month Child Care Leave
*Mom, minister and daddy stays home
*To kindergarten with daddy
*EU and a male journalist with an infant
*Reform program for working parents
*The “Father’s quota”
*An expecting minister
*Loneliness on father’s leave
*”Soft value”
*The greatest revolution of the 20 century

3 Business Federation President Bakes Bread
*One women board member for every ten men
*A president’s fifth year decision
*New department for promoting of women to managerial ranks
*Head-hunting the World Bank
* Enterprises adapt to women’s body
*My wife, a therapist

Chapter III   WOMEN’S ELECTION CAMPAIGNS

1 How Ms. Birgit Wiig Set the Ball Rolling
*triggering women’s massive entry into local legislatures
*One woman’s idea
*Accosting Mr. Einar Gerhardsen, a former prime minister on a street
*Women’s solidarity vs. the political party line
*10 % should be women
*Campaign bills footed by Oslo
*We did it!  A 50% gain

2 Women’s Coupd’Etat
*Catastrophe
*Women win majorities in three cities
*Women can do it!
*Zero in on cities with too few women councilors
*The “witch dancing on a broom” award

3 Women’s Liberation Movement
*To the center stage of political power
*Being women does not make them unite
*The feminist author behind lbsen
*300,000 women get out of husbands’ umbrellas
*Equal rights for children of unmarried women
*Kvinnesakskvinne
*Demands of industry
*Cross men out!
*Committee of men’s role

(table 3 : Women in Japanese and Norwegian Labour Force)
(table 4 : Women’s Liberation History in Norway)

Chapter IV  

INVENTION OF QUOTA SYSTEM

1 Why Political Parties Adopted the Quota System
*What is quota?
*Quota system in national elections
*”A man first, a woman second” or “a woman first, a man second”?
*Two female leaders’ challenge

2 Witness of History: Case 1 (Ms. Berit Ase)
*EC election marks a watershed
*A new party?  Then adopt quota
*Move first and win for sure
*Other parties follow suit
*The template farmers’ genius

3 Witness of History: Case 2 (Ms. Eva Kolstad)
*Party divided by EC issues
*No opposition from within the party
*Quota is the key

4 Law for Gender Equality
*Gender Equality Law and Ombud
*Road to the Gender Equality Law
*Aims and characteristics of the law
*40% provision added after 10 years
*Women account for 40% of public advisory bodies’ membership

(table 5 : Women in Decision Making Positions)

5 Ombud for Gender Equality 
*A judge and a minister divided by 2 equals an ombud
*First Ombud was a feminist activist
*Present Ombud is mother of a young child 
*Women cannot be inferior to men

6 Prime Minister Gro H. Brundtland
*60% of college students support quota
*How the quota cabinet was born
*You can’t become a prime minister. You are a boy.

(table 6: Poll on Quota System, Aamot city, 1996)

Chapter V   REGIME FRIENDLY TO ELECTION OF WOMEN

1 Proportional Representation in National and Local Elections
*Proportional representation comes to the rescue the minority
*Local election began to use PR in the 19th century
*Invisible rules block Japanese women’s path

(table 7: Electoral System and Women’s Representation)

2 Voters May Rewrite Candidate Lists
*Huge and thick ballots
*Ballots tell candidates’ addresses and occupations
*Voter’s three rights
*Right to rewrite candidate lists
*Backlash from men

3 Fair Decision Making Process for Selection of Candidates
*Candidates selected one year before
*A living sample of the quota system
*I prefer being a city mayor to being a member of parliament
*Bottom-up selection process
*Behind-the-scenes selection process in Japan
*Any interventions by the party headquarters?
*The way Japanese candidates are chosen, as I saw it

4 Volunteer Local Assembly Members
*Exemption from local legislative duties at 65
*Local legislators are unpaid
*Almost all city councilors hold paid jobs elsewhere 

5 Alternate Assembly Member System
*First woman member of parliament was an alternate
*Alternate are future principals
*Alternates support principals
*Two mayors for a city 

6 Equal Participation Forging Ahead
*First woman councilor in 1902
*Pioneers in Aamot
*Norwegian women were first to win right to vote of independent nations
*Foreigners in Norway and Norwegians abroad can vote, too
*Even high school students can
*Even those pressed of time can

(table 8: Female City Councilors and Members of Parliament by Constituency)

Chapter VI  

STATE OF PLAY OF JAPAN

1 A Small Japanese Town vs. A Small Norwegian City
*Hikimi Town, Shimane
*Social welfare & health care expert, Ms.Nakamura, vs. construction company executive, Mr. Yamazaki
*Aamot in Hedmark

(table 9: A Norwegian City and A Japanese Town)

2 Which is A Happier Place for Elderly?
*Nursing homes: zero vs. 71 rooms
*Home service centers: 8 vs. 40
*Location of service centers: border of town vs. downtown
*Day-care service visits: weekly vs. daily
*Home helpers: desks next to boss’s vs. separate rooms
*Meal catering service: volunteer housewives vs. by civil servants

3 Japanese Women’s Coupd’Etat
*A woman crossed out
*Petition campaign
*Senior citizen’s welfare is a women’s issue
*Women’s coupd’Etat in Hikimi
*Limits of politics controlled by men alone
*Gender equality spells highest welfare
*How legislative agenda changes when more women are elected
*Leave politics to women

(table 10: Pensioners on Norway and Japan)
(table 11: Budget Allocation in Norwegian Municipalities)

Afterward
References

 
(translated by Mariko Mitsui)